The Devil in Miss Jones

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Not to be confused with 1941 comedy film The Devil and Miss Jones.
The Devil in Miss Jones
Devilinmissjonesposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gerard Damiano
Produced by Gerard Damiano, Harry Reems
Written by Gerard Damiano
Music by Alden Shuman
Cinematography Harry Flecks[1]
Edited by Gerard Damiano
Distributed by VCX Ltd.
Release date(s) 1973
Running time 62 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $15,000,000
(US theatrical gross rental)

The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) is a pornographic film, written, directed and produced by Gerard Damiano and starring Georgina Spelvin.[2] It is widely regarded as a classic adult film,[3] released during the Golden Age of Porn.[4] Damiano made the film after his 1972 success with Deep Throat.[5] Along with Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door, the film is associated with the brief period known as porno chic[5] or the Golden Age of Porn. It went on to spawn numerous remakes and sequels. The original movie is in the public domain.[citation needed]

Plot[edit]

Georgina Spelvin plays Justine Jones, a lonely, depressed spinster who decides that suicide is the only way out of her routinely dull existence.[6] While lying in the bathtub, Justine slits her wrists, dying quietly as the water fills with her blood.[7]

Because she has lived a "pure" life, Miss Jones finds herself in limbo. There she meets Mr. Abaca (John Clemens), an angel, of sorts, who informs her that she does not qualify for entrance to Heaven because she has killed herself. Angry that this one indiscretion has left her with only the options of limbo or Hell, she begs Mr. Abaca to let her "earn" her place in Hell by being allowed to return to earth and become the embodiment of lust.[6] After an intense session of pain and pleasure with a menacing man who goes only by the title of "The Teacher" (Harry Reems),[1][8] Justine has a few bizarre and sexually deviant encounters, the last of which is a graphic threesome.

However, just as she is enjoying her new life of lust, the brief time Justine was given to fulfill herself runs out and she is faced with the eternity of Hell. At first, Miss Jones is horrified at the pain she will be forced to endure, but Abaca is quick to dispel the common human myth of Hell and promises Justine that she will be "quite comfortable..."

Justine, now a raging sex addict, then finds herself confined to a small room with an impotent, sexually uninterested man who is more interested in catching flies than her.[9] She desperately begs the man for sex, but he simply asks her to be quiet while he listens to the buzzing of his imaginary insects.

Trapped in her own private hell, Miss Jones is left screaming in agony for all eternity, thirsting for a climax she will never achieve by her own means.

Georgina Spelvin[edit]

Spelvin was 36 when she made the film.[3] The Devil in Miss Jones was one of her first acting appearances following a career as a chorus girl on Broadway where she featured in productions such as Guys and Dolls, Sweet Charity, and The Pajama Game.[10]

Her role in The Devil In Miss Jones was typical of her career, as she often played celibate spinsters who have a sexual awakening, then become sex fiends (e.g. Sleepyhead).[3] She also meets a tragic end in several of her other films.[3] The film marked the first time she used the moniker Georgina Spelvin, a reference to George Spelvin, a traditional stagename.[11] According to her interview on Dave's Old Porn, Spelvin also did the craft services and cooking on the set. The actress billed in the movie as Claire Lumiere was hired to do craft services only, but was offered $100 to do a lesbian scene with Spelvin, which she accepted.

In an audio interview with The Rialto Report in 2013, Spelvin spoke about how she and Lumiere were lovers at the time and they accepted the adult film work as a means of raising money for their film collective.[10]

Box office[edit]

The movie was given an X rating by the MPAA[5] and premiered at the 57th Street Playhouse in New York City.[5] In many theaters it was shown after Deep Throat as part of a double bill.[9] The Devil In Miss Jones broke the box office record for a pornographic film.[12] It was more commercially successful than both Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door, and successfully competed against mainstream films.[1][13] It earned $15 million in gross rental at the U.S. box office, making it the tenth most successful film of 1973, just behind Paper Moon with Ryan O'Neil and Live and Let Die with Roger Moore[14]

Critical reception[edit]

As with the other films of the Porno chic era, it was reviewed by the film critics of mainstream newspapers.[5][9] The film's review in Variety said that, "With The Devil in Miss Jones, the hard-core porno feature approaches an art form, one that critics may have a tough time ignoring in the future", and compared its plot to Jean-Paul Sartre's play No Exit.[1] The review went on to say, "Damiano has expertly fashioned a bizarre melodrama", and described the opening scene as, "a sequence so effective it would stand out in any legit theatrical feature."[1] It finished by stating, "Booking a film of this technical quality into a standard sex house is tantamount to throwing it on the trash heap of most current hard-core fare."[1]

According to Peter Michelson there is, "a relatively small corpus of [pornographic] films - e.g., Deep Throat, Devil in Miss Jones, Behind the Green Door - that have a minimal but still sufficient artistic interest to distinguish themselves from the rest of the genre".[15]

Other critics have described it as, along with Deep Throat, one of the "two best erotic motion pictures ever made".[16] William Friedkin has called it a "great film", partly because it was one of the few porn films with a proper storyline.[17] It was one of the first films to be inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame.[18]

Soundtrack[edit]

The theme for the film was "I'm Comin' Home", sung by Linda November.[19]

Dialogue was heavily sampled on a track called "The Teacher" by electronic outfit Wave Mechanics in 1991 on the Oh'Zone label - the label who first released the acid house classic "Chime" by British electronic music pioneers Orbital before it became a crossover hit in the UK.

Sequels and remakes[edit]

In 2006, VCX employed Media Blasters to digitally re-master the film from the original 35mm film into a "Definitive Collectors Edition" 2-Disc set on DVD. This latest revision has been repackaged and supposedly has the best picture and audio quality of any original Devil In Miss Jones release. The DVDs contain the remastered feature, audio commentary with director Gerard Damiano, a lengthy in-depth interview with Georgina Spelvin, the original trailer, the cable TV version, and a photo gallery.

The Devil in Miss Jones 2[edit]

(1982, VCA Pictures)

Starring: Jacqueline Lorians, Georgina Spelvin, Jack Wrangler, Anna Ventura, Joanna Storm, R. Bolla, Sharon Mitchell, Ron Jeremy written by Ellie Hayward and Henri Pachard; directed by Henri Pachard).

A satirical take-off on the original, its title track was sung by Johnny Hartman.[20]

The Devil in Miss Jones 3: A New Beginning[edit]

(1986, VCA Pictures)

Starring Lois Ayres, Jack Baker, Careena Collins, Vanessa del Rio, Amber Lynn, Kari Foxx, Tom Byron, Jennifer Noxt, Chanel, Keli Richards Peter North, Mark Wallice, Paul Thomas.Kevin James had a non-performing role. Written by Gregory Dark and Johnny Jump-Up; produced and directed by Gregory Dark).

It won 'Best Film' at the 1987 AVN Awards.[21]

The Devil in Miss Jones 4: The Final Outrage[edit]

(1986, VCA Pictures)

Starring: Lois Ayres, Jack Baker, Patti Petite, Kristara Barrington, Keli Richards, Krista Lane, Tamara Longley, Erica Boyer, Paul Thomas, Ron Jeremy, F.M. Bradley and Kevin James. Written by Gregory Dark and Johnny Jump-Up; produced and directed by Gregory Dark. Parts 3 & 4 together won 'Best Classic DVD' at the 2000 AVN Awards.[21]

The Devil in Miss Jones 5: The Inferno[edit]

(1995, VCA Pictures)

Starring Juli Ashton, Rip Hymen, Tammi Ann, Kelly O'Dell, Nicole Lace, Vanessa Chase, Ariana, Rowan Fairmont, Barbara Doll, Rebecca Lord, Serenity, Tom Byron, Dave Cummings, Mark Davis written by Selwyn Harris; produced and directed by Gregory Dark.

The Devil in Miss Jones 6[edit]

(1999, VCA Pictures)

Starring Stacy Valentine, Vicca, Nikita, Randy Spears, Juli Ashton, Dizzy, Tina Tyler, Lacey Ogden, Peris Bleu, Anita Cannibal, Scotty Schwartz written and directed by Antonio Passolini

It won 'Top Renting Release of the Year' at the 2000 AVN Awards.[21]

The New Devil in Miss Jones[edit]

(2005, Vivid Entertainment)

Starring: Savanna Samson, Jenna Jameson, Roxanne Hall, Angelica Sin, Rachel Rotten, Vicky Vette, Dick Smothers Jr., Nick Manning, Tony Tedeschi, Georgina Spelvin; written by Dean Nash and Raven Touchstone; directed by Paul Thomas[22] and edited by Sonny Malone

In AVN Awards 2006, the remake dominated the film categories, winning Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Film, Best Supporting Actress and Best All-Girl Sex Scene.[21] The film cost $250,000 to produce, which, according to New York Times film reviewer Mireya Navarro was "Vivid's most expensive (production) yet"[23] and one of the most expensive pornographic productions of all time.

Georgina Spelvin, the star of the original film, then nearly 70 years old,[24] here takes a non-sexual role as a cleaning woman and mentor to the new Miss Jones.

The Devil in Miss Jones: The Resurrection[edit]

(2010, Vivid Entertainment)

Starring: Belladonna, Savanna Samson, Penny Flame, Carmella Bing, Rebeca Linares, Victoria Sin, Kurt Lockwood, Nick Manning, Steven St. Croix, Evan Stone, Tom Byron; written by Raven Touchstone and Tony G.; directed by Paul Thomas

While it received several AVN award nominations, it didn't win any awards.

The Devil in Miss Jones II: The Devil's Agenda[edit]

(1991, Arrow Productions)

Starring: Alexandra Quinn, Taylor Wane, Cameo, Ron Jeremy, Randy West, Cal Jammer, Biff Malibu, Jerry Butler; directed by Steve Drake

While not considered part of the Devil in Miss Jones series by some, this movie nevertheless is a sequel in which Quinn plays Amanda Jones, who, in limbo after death, must choose between the devil (Jeremy) and an angel (West).

Subsequent to this production, Arrow and VCX were involved in a copyright dispute over the original Devil in Miss Jones along with two other Golden Age of Porn films, Deep Throat and Debbie Does Dallas.[25] Both companies continue to sell Devil in Miss Jones.[6][26]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Lewis, p.211
  2. ^ Lewis, p.210
  3. ^ a b c d Williams, Linda (2004). Porn studies. Duke University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-8223-3312-0. 
  4. ^ Shimizu, Celine Parreñas (2007). The hypersexuality of race: performing Asian/American women on screen and scene. Duke University Press. p. 147. ISBN 0-8223-4033-X. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Pennington, Jody W. (2007). The history of sex in American film. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 56. ISBN 0-275-99226-8. 
  6. ^ a b c 1973 Original Edition DVD product page at VCX
  7. ^ Spelvin, p.228
  8. ^ Spelvin, p.94
  9. ^ a b c Olson, James Stuart (1999). Historical dictionary of the 1970s. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 125. ISBN 0-313-30543-9. 
  10. ^ a b Georgina Spelvin: The Devil, Miss Jones, and the New York Years, The Rialto Report, May 19, 2013
  11. ^ Spelvin, p.7
  12. ^ Lewis, p.218
  13. ^ Lewis, p.112
  14. ^ Krämer, Peter (2005). The new Hollywood: from Bonnie and Clyde to Star Wars. Wallflower Press. pp. 208–209. ISBN 978-1-904764-58-8. 
  15. ^ Michelson, Peter (1993). Speaking the unspeakable: a poetics of obscenity. SUNY Press. p. 235. ISBN 0-7914-1223-7. 
  16. ^ Sutherland, John (1983). Offensive literature: decensorship in Britain, 1960-1982. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 136. ISBN 0-389-20354-8. 
  17. ^ Williams, Linda Ruth (2005). The erotic thriller in contemporary cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-253-34713-0. 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ The Devil In Miss Jones (Original Soundtrack Recording) at Discogs (list of releases)
  20. ^ Jet 63 (4). Johnson Publishing Company. 4 Oct 1982. p. 55. ISSN 0021-5996. 
  21. ^ a b c d [2]
  22. ^ Spelvin, p.271
  23. ^ Navarro, Mireya, "The Devil is still In", New York Times Film Review, August 7, 2005
  24. ^ Vivid Productions press release August 23, 2005
  25. ^ Arrow, V.C.X. Settle 'Deep Throat'/'Debbie Does Dallas' Case, Mark Kernes, Adult Video News, Oct. 21, 2011
  26. ^ 1973 Original Edition DVD product page at Arrow

References[edit]

External links[edit]