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The Devil and Miss Jones [Blu-ray]

107 customer reviews

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The Devil and Miss Jones [Blu-ray] + The More the Merrier + Easy Living (Universal Cinema Classics)
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Editorial Reviews

The great Sam Wood (Pride of the Yankees) directs this socially conscientious classic comedy. John P. Merrick (Charles Coburn), the world's richest man, gets word that someone is trying to unionize a department store he owns. To thwart this blatant act of democracy, Merrick changes his name and takes a menial job at the store to catch the union activists without detention. Once he himself is subjected to the humiliating treatment by the department supervisor, Hooper (Edmund Gwenn), Merrick starts to wise up -- and soften up. Jean Arthur (The More the Merrier) plays Mary Jones, a shoe saleswoman who becomes Coburn's coworker and liaison to the world of the common man. Miss Jones is love with the head of the union activists played by Robert Cummings (Saboteur) and Merrick himself falls in love with co-worker, Elizabeth Ellis (Spring Byington). The double-date sequence at Coney Island immortalizes the infamous beach in its masses of flesh and general bedlam, the great William Cameron Menzies (Gone with the Wind) created the extravagant detail-rich sets, which are the perfect complements to the witty script by Norman Krasna (White Christmas). Nominated for two Academy Awardsr - Best Screenplay (Krasna) and Best Supporting Actor (Coburn).

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Arthur, Robert Cummings, Charles Coburn, Edmund Gwenn, Spring Byington
  • Directors: Sam Wood
  • Writers: Norman Krasna
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B27WSOQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,497 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Silva on February 13, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Among the Classic Film couples, there are Garbo and Gilbert, Gable and Crawford, Tracy and Hepburn, but I have discovered that there is also Arthur and Coburn, an unlikely couple, but nevertheless one of the most engaging.

Two films: "The More the Merrier" and the one I'm reviewing now, "The Devil and Miss Jones" are the testimony of the great chemistry and rapport that existed between this two great comedians, Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn.

Last night I watched this wonderful Comedy for the first time and believe me, I hadn't seen a Comedy of this quality and class, in a long time. It's so perfect that it's difficult to really describe the effect it had on me.

The plot of the film tells the story of what happens when a millionaire (Coburn), who among many, many assets, owns a Department Store in New York, arranges to be infiltrated into the Store as a simple Shoes (more precisely "Slipper") Salesman, in order to investigate who, among its employees, participated as agitators and were responsible for the hanging of his effigy, when protesting against the Store's policies regarding workers, working conditions and Unions.

Among the employees of the Store, Coburn meets fellow Shoes Saleslady, Jean Arthur, who befriends him, not only believing he's an employee, but also a poor, almost destitute old man.

Coburn is delightful as the millionaire; I'd dare to say that it's his best role ever, along with the one he played in "The More the Merrier". Jean Arthur plays much more a "human" character than a plain-comedic one and Bob Cummings is also very good as her boyfriend and the main "agitator", getting to play together a couple of very believable love scenes.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Dave on April 18, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Charles Coburn plays J.P. Merrick, the wealthy, sinister millionaire and owner of his own department store, where the overworked and underpayed workers, led by Joe O'Brien (Robert Cummings) are protesting. In order to eliminate all the ringleaders of the employee protest movement, Merrick, who's face isn't known by any of the employees, changes his name to Tom Higgins and becomes an employee in his own department store. While working in the dreaded shoe department, Higgins meets the charming Mary Jones (Jean Arthur), who takes pity on Higgins and befriends him, not knowing that he's her evil boss.

Higgins, when not gathering the names of protesters in his organization, also falls for one of his "co-workers", Elizabeth Ellis (Spring Byington). Higgins is faced with a problem however, when he discovers that Mary Jones' boyfriend is none other than Joe O'Brien. Yet over time Higgins' unlikely friendship with these people makes him forget about his sinister original plan and he becomes a new man who cares for his employees.

Now that the equally great comedy with Charles Coburn and Jean Arthur, "The More the Merrier", has been released on dvd, why can't this underated classic get a dvd release? Sure, some of the dialogue is dated and corny, but that's just part of the charm with an old-fashioned comedy like "The Devil and Miss Jones". Jean Arthur was terrific and absolutly charming as usual, but Charles Coburn really stole the show with his great performance. Charles Coburn was an incredible actor who could play very likable characters, or the worst of villians, as in "Kings Row". Robert Cummings was good in this as well, although his speech at the police station was vomit-inducing. The supporting cast, especially Spring Byington and Edmund Gwenn (who plays the grouchy section manager of the shoe department where Higgins works) is wonderful. Surely we won't have to wait too much longer before this great comedy is released on dvd!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Linda McDonnell on December 11, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
in this very funny story of how the richest man in the world decides to go undercover as a shoe salesman in a store he forgot he owned until labor agitators hang him in effigy. It's Charles Coburn's intention to infiltrate the labor movement and bring these "wrongdoers" to justice or at least unemployment. He doesn't bargain on what happens when he begins to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi, and how meeting with the peppy Miss Jones (Jean Arthur) will change his outlook on labor and ultimately life.
Jean Arthur is very appealing as this working class heroine, but it's Charles Coburn who runs away with the picture. His transformation from a Rockefeller-type cold as ice businessman into a tuna popover eating funlover is aces, especially in his dealings with the surprisingly unpleasant Edmund Gwenn as the manager of the shoe department. Ironic that Gwenn returned to the department store scene a few years later to buck authority himself as Kris Kringle in "Miracle on 34 Street". A point worth noting is that much of the dialogue concerns the misunderstanding about Coburn's true identity, and his consequently being abused as an older worker with limited skills in an emerging modern world. Although 60 years ago, this still rings true today, and gives us some food for thought.
This picture has only two things going against it: First is its terrible title. Not only does it not really make any sense given the plot of the film, but it later got co-opted as the title of a famous porn film, "Devil IN Miss Jones", so that even the librarian where I took this out gave me the once over, thinking I was taking out a smutty film. I'll bet few people ever do rent this movie because of its dubious monniker.
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The Devil and Miss Jones [Blu-ray]
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