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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 August 2011
The Devil and Miss Jones is directed by Sam Wood and written by Norman Krasna. It stars Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn, Robert Cummings, Spring Byington and Edmund Gwenn. Music is by Roy Webb and photography by Harry Stradling Sr. Plot finds Coburn as curmudgeon John P. Merrick, the richest man in the world. When the employers of his own New York department store hang an effigy of him out on the street, Merrick decides to investigate what is going on behind the scenes. Having lived like a recluse for a number of years, Merrick's face is not known, this enables him to go undercover at the store posing as an unassuming clerk in the footwear department. From here much will be learned......

Sitting in the void between Capra-Corn and Sturges-Screwball, The Devil and Miss Jones is a frothy cornball comedy that's very easy to watch. Although one feels the script had its political leanings diluted some what, film still carries a little social bite to go with the feel good "see the light" comedy. Mistaken identities and bluffs reign supreme for the most part, with the odd romantic thread stitched in along the way. Cast are mostly energetic and fun, especially Coburn (Academy Award nominated for Best Supporting Actor) and Arthur, though Cummings at the mid-point begins to annoy with his inability to blend politico posturing with earnest intent. Wood's direction is safe and lets the human interest aspects of Krasna's (Academy Award nominated Best Original Screenplay) script shine through. 7.5/10
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on 5 June 2011
Charles Coburn (John Merrick) is so rich that he doesn't remember half of what he owns. The staff at his department store "Neelys" are taking to the streets because of their working conditions and have hanged an effigy of him outside the shop. They don't know what he looks like so they make something up. Anyway, Coburn is furious about this and goes undercover into his store posing as a shoe salesman with the intent of getting the names of trouble-makers and flushing them out. He meets his team of Jean Arthur (Mary) and Spring Byington (Elizabeth), his new 'boss' Edmund Gwenn (Hooper) and it is not long before he is introduced to the chief trouble-maker, Robert Cummings (Joe), an ex-employee who has got together a list of 400 names that will support him in the fight against the corporate world. Cummings is Arthur's boyfriend. Coburn gets his information but he hadn't counted on that timeless cure for everything......love......

It is obvious what is going to happen in this film but that doesn't matter coz it's an enjoyable journey getting there. It's a comedy that is funny and this is entirely down to the behaviour and reactions of the main character as played by Charles Coburn. This is completely HIS film and it's ludicrous that he is billed 3rd, behind Jean Arthur who has that slightly unpalatable voice and Robert Cummings who is unconvincing as a rabble-rouser. In fact, the immediate supporting cast are all a bunch of wet fishes, and that includes Spring Byington. Edmund Gwenn is good as are Coburn's team of arse-licking advisers and watch for a small role played by Florence Bates as a store shopper. I didn't know that mystery shopping was being carried out in those days. It seems the notion of "Big Brother is watching you" has been around for quite some time.

Practically all of Coburn's scenes will have you laughing. Examples include his resentment of having to take orders from Gwenn and the moment when he answers back towards the end of the film. We also have a funny scene at the end where he sits on the side of the agitators to confront his own sycophants about the running of the store. They are unaware that he has gone undercover and agree to his every word to the amazement of all those present.

The film is a bit soppy with the love themes but the dialogue delivery and reaction shots of Coburn are definitely very funny. The ending is rushed and there are plot holes, such as why on earth would Jean Arthur take such an interest in Coburn's character, and how has Byington's aversion to wealthy men suddenly disappeared...but so what. It would have been better to end on a final, satisfying shot of Edmund Gwenn getting his come-uppance, but the film is entertaining and better than I had expected.
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on 29 November 2014
** May not play in Europe **. Review is for Amazon's product and info not the film. I cannot play the film because although I can play multi region and I can play blu ray, I cannot play multi-zone blu ray. This is a general problem, but first time hit me with this disc and now I know that, as in the early days of DVD, you have to check the exact spec of each disc. Tedious. I don't think the info Amazon provides is sufficiently unambiguous to warn people. I have kept the disc because I'll probably buy a multi-region hd player in the next few years.
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on 18 June 2015
I had this on video, but loved it so much I had to upgrade to DVD. This item was well packaged, as described and arrived in a timely manner. Jean Arthur was one of the finest actresses of her day.
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on 27 November 2014
Excellent comedy
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on 10 February 2016
the story of the beginning of a Union in a shopping center very good
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on 15 February 2016
Can now play all DVDs so totally happy with this classic Jean Arthur film
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on 17 November 2014
An enjoyable film with a very good cast
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on 3 April 2010
A pleasant entertaining film, with a story! Doesn't depend on violence, bad language, sex, car chases, or today's replacement for good writing and acting.
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