Sunday, 6 February 2011
Old Movie Madness: The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)
Finally I have a laptop that actually works wirelessly and was able to spend a lazy morning in bed while my guest slumbered in the living room. As a result I had copious time for some knitting and film watching all from the luxury of my gorgeous Art Deco bed.
Today I was in a comedy mood and so picked the 1941 film, "The Devil and Miss Jones", starring Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn.
The film starts on a daft note, with a little letter to "The Richest Men in the World" warning them not to take the film personally.
The film centres around Coburn's character as John P. Merrick, the richest man in the world, who owns, among countless other business, Neeley's department store. The staff at Neeley's are under the influence of the union, due to unfair working conditions, and when he Mr Merrick sees that they have hung an effigy of him he is determined to root out the troublemakers and goes undercover as a shoe salesman.
Working at the store is wake up call for Mr Merrick, he is a hapless salesman and through harsh treatment from his superiors and kindness from his colleagues, including the lovely Jean Arthur as Miss Jones, he realises that his workforce are valuable and falls in love.
Charles Coburn is excellent as the blustering Mr Merrick, and gives a tender performance as an angry, lonely man who blossoms when given the opportunity to make friends and find love with saleslady Elizabeth. Jean Arthur is great too, as a kind woman, madly in love with her boyfriend and she shows great comic timing. I especially loved her throwing herself across a desk.
The costumes are wonderful, as I knew they would be as soon as I saw costumes by Irene in the credits.meaning Irene Sharaff, who also dressed The King and I, Gaslight and An American in Paris.
Aside from the film being genuinely warm and uplifting I was also mesmerised by the hair, Miss Arthur sports two great dos during the film, her work hairdo has small rolls and a fluffed pointed fringe, while her more casual hairdo, for a day at the beach shows the fringe still fluffed but combed to the side. Great ideas for things to do with my new fringe.
I thought this was a really lovely movie, easy top watch but just the thing to raise the mood on a grey day.