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It Happened to Jane (1959)

Doris Day , Jack Lemmon , Richard Quine  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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It Happened to Jane + The Thrill of it All! + The Doris Day and Rock Hudson Comedy Collection (Pillow Talk / Lover Come Back / Send Me No Flowers)
Price for all three: $30.47

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Product Details

  • Actors: Doris Day, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Steve Forrest, Teddy Rooney
  • Directors: Richard Quine
  • Writers: Max Wilk, Norman Katkov
  • Producers: Richard Quine, Martin Melcher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00070HK2Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,690 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "It Happened to Jane" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Doris Day was nearing her popular zenith, and Jack Lemmon just hitting his stride, when they teamed up for It Happened to Jane, a small-town comedy in the Capra vein. Doris is a widowed mom whose Maine lobster business is snarled by railroad tycoon Ernie Kovacs (hiding behind a skullcap and a huge cigar), the "meanest man in America." Her lawsuit against him, aided by lawyer-suitor Lemmon, gains national headlines. This is a curious movie: crucial scenes seem to have been left unwritten, while sequences involving Cub Scouts and an oddly impassioned Town Hall Meeting go on endlessly. Director Richard Quine was making some fun movies around this time (Bell, Book, and Candle), but the fizz is only intermittent here, mostly provided by Lemmon's jack-in-the-box youthfulness. Doris sings a couple of tunes and brings her downhome tomboy routine to New York City, where the movie employs some of the quaint TV personalities of the day. --Robert Horton

Product Description

In this classic romantic comedy, Jane Osgood (Doris Day), a single mom with two children, is in thelive lobster business. But when her first big order for the Marshall Town Country Club turns up dead through no fault of her own, it kills her chances for a successful season. Discovering budget cutsat the railroad are to blame, she turns to George Denham (Jack Lemmon), her longtime admirer and anattorney, to seek compensation from the railroad's tyrannical owner, Harry Foster Malone (Ernie Kovacs). Jane wins in her local courthouse, but Malone agrees to pay only for the lobsters, not damages. She refuses his offer on principle and the battle is on. The press has a field day with this modern-day David and Goliath story. And the whole country turns to Cape Anne, Maine, to watch as one woman stands up to "the meanest man in the world." It could happen to anyone but IT HAPPENED TO JANE.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MAINE'S "JANE" IS FAR FROM PLAIN February 26, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Columbia's spring, 1959 release, "It Happened to Jane" should have been a box-office smash. It certainly had all the makings of a hit.

Starring Doris Day and Jack Lemmon, two of the screen's most gifted comic performers, featuring a great supporting cast and set amidst some of the most beautiful scenery seen up to that date in wide-screen, it nevertheless opened and closed rather quickly.

Perhaps it was the title or the general lack of enthusiasm the studio seemed to have for the film, but it nevertheless provided more than ample entertainment for audiences who did venture into the theatres where it played and now, beautifully presented on DVD (It was never, oddly enough, given a release on video), it should more than provide ample pleasures for those who purchase or rent this delightful romp.

In short it is the story of a widow, with two children, who raises lobsters in a small Maine town who takes on a mighty railroad whose indifference had caused her to lose a shipment. She is assisted in her battle by smalltown lawyer/boyfriend, Jack Lemmon. This being Hollywood, the outcome may seem rather predictable but getting there is such fun that you can't help but smile throughout and from time to time let out a major guffaw.

The film was released about 6 months before Doris Day began her many year reign as the top box-office star in the world. The film that made that possible was "Pillow Talk". She was Oscar-nominated for her turn in that film but she is equally as good as Janie Osgood in this picture.

She beautifully epitomizes the strong willed, determined New England stock she plays and the audience is rooting for her from the first frame.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cute Doris Day caper March 22, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
IT HAPPENED TO JANE was up until this DVD release something of a `lost classic', having never been released on video and appearing only rarely on TV and cable. Doris Day stars in another domestic comedy which suits her wholesome girl-next-door persona to a tee.

She plays Jane Osgood, a young widow in Cape Anne, Maine, who runs a lobster farming business. When one of her shipments returns with the lobsters dead inside, Jane discovers that it was the fault of the railroad company. She turns to her old friend George Denham (Jack Lemmon) a young lawyer, and together they take on the tyrannical head of the railways Harry Foster Malone (Ernie Kovacs). It's a cute, often very funny comedy. Doris Day and Jack Lemmon are fresh and appealing in the lead roles, and Day gets 2 numbers ("Be Prepared" and the Title Song). The movie also features Mary Wickes, Steve Forrest and Jayne Meadows. Based on a story by Max Wilk and Norman Katkov.

The DVD picture looks great, in a colourful anamorphic print. Extras consist of trailers for other Columbia classic movie titles.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real pleasure October 27, 2005
How nice to sit down with your family and watch a well shot, well acted film with, dare I say it, a straight-forward unapologetically wholesome narrative tale extolling various virtues in its characters. The New England scenary is stunning, Jack Lemmon is great and Doris Day is at her best in a role well suited for her talents. Ernie Kovacs is wonderful as the cigar chewing railroad tycoon. The greatest compliment I can pay this film is to paraphrase a line from the movie "It must have been great to grow up here".
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doris Day at her best February 23, 2005
I can only confirm the above rave reviews for this movies - it's my favorite Doris Day-movie and I already wrote to Columbia 2 years ago, that they should release it on DVD, since it was not even released on Laserdisc. I read in one of the above reviews that the movie should be titled "Plain Jane" - in the 3rd Bear Family-Records-CD-Box ("Que sera" - recommended as well!) one can read that actually the movie was intended to be titled after the novel it is based upon - "That Jane from Maine". That CD-Box also includes 2 versions of the never-before-released recording of the song "That Jane from Main", Doris recorded for this movie (in the meantime also available on a Sony-Comilation). It`s the same melody as "It happened to Jane" (which had to be recorded after the movie had been re-titeled), but a completely different arrangement, faster, with the drummer imitating a steam engine as intro - the lyrics are totally different as well.

It`s a pity - since DVD and soundtrack-recording belong to Sony (Columbia)- that this different song -and perhaps the original soundtrack- was not put onto the DVD as an extra. If they could not find bonus film material that's one thing, the songs would have been possible. But that of course would have required creative energy...

Enjoy the movie :-)
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Chris
I almost fell of my chair when I saw this.

I have a VHS of this rare movie in my DOris Day Collection since I own all 39/39 of her films. And this is one of my all time favorites. Doris Day plays Jane Osgood, a young widow with 2 young children, and she owns a lobster business. Well her lobsters come back dead in the train and she finds out that they wern't taken to there destination soon enough. Because of the new President of the Railroad Company Harry Foster Malone (Ernie Kovacs). So she and her lawyer/boyfriend/lifetime friend Jack Lemmon. GO to fight against him and at the end she wins, and Harry Foster Malone becomes a new nicer man then he was before. This movie also features a few great Doris Day songs including It Happened To Jane, and Be Prepared. This is a great movie that I highly suggest you buying. I will be buying this dvd the day it comes out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame Jack Lemmon didn't do any more movies w/ Doris Day
I hope others that have seen this movie will agree that it's a shame Jack Lemmon didn't do any more movies w/ Doris Day after this one. Their chemistry is excellent. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Tiffy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank You
Published 1 month ago by Beatrise F. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars movie was great especially for being a Doris Day movie and seeing ...
movie was great especially for being a Doris Day movie and seeing the town of Chester was wonderful
Published 2 months ago by Donna Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars great classic movie
This is a great classic movie. And it still represents how railroads work today.
Published 2 months ago by Kevin Meehan
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical love story of the era, but with Kovacs & Trains!
I have to confess, I bought this movie for only 2 reasons: Ernie Kovacs, and local railroads! Lemmon is always good, and the New England feel is nice. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nells250
5.0 out of 5 stars Doris Day the winner
I love everything she does. She is an excellent actress, comedienne, singer and friend to animals. She is very blessed.
Published 5 months ago by Barbara Bondy
4.0 out of 5 stars Doris Day
Just love her movies. She was my Daddy's dream woman, kind, sweet, determined, but always feminine and caring. Love her movies.
Published 6 months ago by Karen Abbott
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Just love Doris Day ... Happy 90-92 Birthday Miss Day! This is surely one of my favorites. Great family movie night film. Jack Lemmon is wonderful also as always.
Published 6 months ago by Susan M. Sackrison
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this movie!! :D
There is something very special about this movie and it's not just Doris Day & Jack Lemmon! You can truly see that when they filmed this movie, they really wanted to capture 1959. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Once Upon A Time
5.0 out of 5 stars it happend to jane is one of doris day's best with jack lemmon
the first movie i saw doris day in was the west point story, that was many year ago, so i beleave i'm one of doris day's oldest fans,

wish she had made many more movies,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by larry terwilliger
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