The Devil and Miss Jones
|The Devil and Miss Jones|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sam Wood|
|Produced by||Frank Ross|
|Written by||Norman Krasna|
|Cinematography||Harry Stradling, Sr.|
|Editing by||Sherman Todd|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Running time||92 minutes|
The Devil and Miss Jones is a 1941 comedy film starring Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn. Directed by Sam Wood and scripted by Norman Krasna, the film was the product of an independent collaboration between Krasna and producer Frank Ross (Jean Arthur's husband). Their short-lived production company released two films through RKO Radio Pictures (Miss Jones and 1943's A Lady Takes a Chance). The film was well received by critics upon its release and garnered Academy Award nominations for Coburn and Krasna.
Cantankerous tycoon John P. Merrick (Charles Coburn) goes undercover as a shoe clerk at his own New York department store to identify agitators trying to form a union, after seeing a newspaper picture of his employees hanging him in effigy. He befriends fellow clerk Mary Jones (Jean Arthur) and her recently fired boyfriend Joe O'Brien (Robert Cummings), a labor union organizer. Through his firsthand experiences, he grows more sympathetic to the needs of his workers, while finding unexpected love with sweet-natured clerk Elizabeth Ellis (Spring Byington).
- Jean Arthur as Mary Jones, store clerk
- Robert Cummings as Joe O'Brien
- Charles Coburn as John P. Merrick, richest man in the world
- Edmund Gwenn as Hooper, section manager
- Spring Byington as Elizabeth Ellis, clerk
- S.Z. Sakall as George (Merrick's Butler)
- William Demarest as First Detective
- Walter Kingsford as Mr. Allison, store manager
- Montagu Love as Harrison
- Richard Carle as Oliver
- Charles Waldron as Needles
- Edwin Maxwell as Withers
- Edward McNamara as Police Desk Sergeant
- Robert Emmett Keane as Tom Higgins
- Florence Bates as store shopper
- Pat Flaherty as Mark - Policeman with Pickpocket
- Irving Cummings as
- Minta Durfee as customer
- William Elmer as Attendant at Jim's Bath House
- Frank Mills as attendant at Third Bath House
- Victor Potel as attendant at First Bath House
- Walter Tetley as Stock Boy
Frank Ross and Norman Krasna decided to produce a movie together starring Jean Arthur for $600,000 borrowed from the bank. The script was written in ten weeks and then Sam Wood came on board as director. Krasna described the experience of making the film as one of the best in his career.
The film made a profit of $117,000.
Academy Award nominations
Adaptations to other media
The Devil and Miss Jones was adapted as a radio play on two broadcasts of Lux Radio Theater, first on January 19, 1942 with Lana Turner and Lionel Barrymore, then on March 12, 1945 with Linda Darnell and Frank Morgan. It was also adapted twice on The Screen Guild Theater, first on June 7, 1943 with Laraine Day, Charles Coburn and George Murphy, again on August 12, 1946 with Van Johnson and Donna Reed. It was also adapted on the October 23, 1946 broadcast of Academy Award Theater starring Charles Coburn and Virginia Mayo.
Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn films
- "The Devil and Miss Jones: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
- Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p56
- SOME AUTHORS DIE HAPPY By NORMAN KRASNA. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 18 May 1941: X4.
- The Devil and Miss Jones at the Internet Movie Database
- The Devil and Miss Jones at AllMovie
- The Devil and Miss Jones at the TCM Movie Database
- The Devil and Miss Jones on Lux Radio Theater: January 19, 1942
- The Devil and Miss Jones on Screen Guild Theater: June 7, 1943
- The Devil and Miss Jones on Lux Radio Theater: March 12, 1945
- The Devil and Miss Jones on Academy Award Theater: October 23, 1946