Monday, April 11, 2011

“You…Benedict Arnold in sheep’s clothing!”

While I’m handing out slices of birthday cake in honor of cartoonist Dale Messick’s natal anniversary, there’s another commemoration in progress not here on this blog but at my good friend Edward Copeland’s Film…and More—the 70th anniversary of the release of The Devil and Miss Jones (1941) to motion picture theaters.  The screwball comedy, scripted by Norman Krasna and directed by Sam Wood, stars Savannah, GA’s own Charles Coburn as a cranky gazillionaire who masquerades as an employee in a department store he owns to spy on the people there determined to organize a union.  His co-workers include TDOY actress goddess Jean Arthur, Bob Cummings (who’s actually pretty good here) and Spring “December Bride” Byington, to whom he takes a shine in a romantic fashion.  The movie also stars Edmund Gwenn, S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall and the always reliable William Demarest…though Bill’s part in this one isn’t as generous as some of his other film appearances.

The Devil and Miss Jones shouldn’t be confused with the 1973 porn classic The Devil in Miss Jones…and the only reason why I mentioned this is now when somebody uses the Google to look up that movie they’ll be directed here and it’ll goose my hit count a smidge.  (Twisted and evil.)  (You should also not mistake it with Billy Larkin’s 1975 country hit, The Devil in Mrs. Jones—and if you’re thinking, “Who in the hell would remember that song?” then apparently this must be your first visit here.)

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Stacia said...

I must confess that, when you first told me you had written an article on "The Devil and Miss Jones," my first thought was of "The Devil IN Miss Jones." Neither of which I've seen, which is odd on both counts.

90ab6a9c-66e2-11e0-ae85-000bcdca4d7a said...

I once saw THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES on a big screen at Filmex circa 1977 or so, with Robert Cummings in attendance, but I can't remember a damn thing he said! i also watched it as a 10 year old child in baffled stupefaction, convinced that AT SOME POINT Satan would show up and haul away all these chattering dullards to their red-hot afterlives.