IT HAPPENED TO JANE 1959

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IT HAPPENED TO JANE 1959

mikeydv
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This post was updated on .


This film is still a puzzlement. Doris had  great co-stars (Jack Lemmon and Ernie Kovacs), the chemistry was obvious, the story was good. It should have been a box office smash. It wasn’t. Maybe it needed the infusion of some songs better than “Be Prepared” (The Boy Scout Song) and the weak title tune. (It was also released under the title "Twinkle and Shine" after a DD song.)

A romantic comedy film starring Doris Day, Jack Lemmon, and Ernie Kovacs directed by Richard Quine and written by Norman Katkov and Max Wilk, The film was co-produced by Quine and star Day's husband at the time, Martin Melcher.

In May 1959, in the town of Cape Anne, Maine, a foul-up by the Eastern & Portland Railroad (E&P) results in the death of 300 lobsters shipped by Jane Osgood (Day). She gets her lawyer and friend, George Denham (Lemmon), to go after the E&P to pay damages after her customer, the Marshall Town Country Club, refuses all future orders.

In the E&P office in New York City, Harry Foster Malone (Kovacs) learns about the Osgood lawsuit. Due to the budget cuts Malone instated, there was no station agent at Marshall Town to receive the lobsters. Malone sends employees Crawford Sloan (Walter Greaza) and Wilbur Peterson (Philip Coolidge) to Cape Anne to deal with the situation. The two attorneys offer $700, but Jane turns it down because the loss to her business reputation is more than that.

Jane wins in court, but E&P appeals the case to the state Supreme Court in Augusta, Maine. George files a writ of execution to force payment and take possession of the train, Old 97, in lieu of payment.

Jane is interviewed by local newspaper reporter Matilda Runyon, who then calls the Daily Mirror in New York. Top reporter Larry Hall (Steve Forrest) is sent to Cape Anne for the story. Television stations also want to interview Jane. Malone retaliates by charging Jane rent for the siding on which the train is sitting.

Jane appears on ABC, NBC, and CBS. Fearful of bad publicity, Malone finally gives in and cancels the rent, but gives Jane the train. Meanwhile, George becomes increasingly jealous when he sees Larry is attracted to Jane so he proposes marriage to her.

Back in Cape Anne, during a town meeting, Jane learns that Malone has ordered all his trains to bypass the town and has given Jane 48 hours to remove Old 97. Jane runs away and George scolds the townspeople for turning against her.

Realizing that Old 97 is just the way to deliver the lobsters, Jane and George persuade everybody to fill up the train's tender with coal from their homes. George recruits his uncle Otis, a retired E&P engineer, to engineer the train.

Old 97 sets off with Jane, her children, George, and the lobsters on board. Malone does everything possible to delay them. Jane becomes upset at the roundabout route Malone is forcing them to take. Eventually, the coal runs out, stopping Old 97 and blocking traffic.

Just then, Malone arrives by helicopter. Jane scolds him for his underhanded actions. Malone finally agrees to Jane's demands. Jane and George tell him to come along so he cannot cause any more trouble. He finally shows his good side by helping shovel coal. Larry and a photographer are in Marshall Town when the train arrives. George kisses Jane in front of Larry and she agrees to marry George.

After the wedding, as George is being sworn in as the new first selectman, a badly needed fire engine pulls into town, a present from Malone.

Don't let the critical reviews keep you from watching a really fun and funny movie!


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Re: IT HAPPENED TO JANE 1959

Hollywood
This post was updated on .



If you have not seen this film, I highly recommend watching it:



Or here:  




Now for my review, starting with a quote:

“I thought that “It Happened to Jane” was a good, funny movie that didn’t do well because of that terrible title.  I felt that Doris and I have very good chemistry together, and I regret that we never made another film.”  ~Jack Lemmon

I couldn’t agree more with Jack about the title!  When I read Doris’ book and also listened to a recorded message from Doris from the time about this film, I heard there were several titles to this film.  Mike mentioned one of them, like the “Twinkle and Shine” (which sounds like kiddie fare and should be the title of a full out musical and luckily not this film).  My favorite one I heard was “That Jane from Maine” and the song for that title.  I think that title and song fit the film and Janey’s feisty nature MUCH better than “It Happened to Jane” (IHTJ) and it’s actual title song.  When I hear IHTJ, I’m just like “What? So??” but “That Jane from Maine” intrigues you, gives you a better idea of what the film is about  and the song further clues you in with the railroad theme (plus Doris mentions Carolina, which makes me smile…b/c I’m from North Carolina).  I agree with you Mike about “Be Prepared”.  Though it's in the same vein, it’s not “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies”.  

I REALLY love this film (Top Ten Contender)!  Cape Anne, Maine is such a beautiful name for a town!  I love that a lot of it is shot on location.  I totally agree with Doris, Jack Lemmon and Mike that this film should’ve done better at the Box Office than it did.  The reason it didn’t I believe must be related to my point about the title listed above.
   








I love the story itself including the stuff about Sam the Lobster, small town politics, and fighting for the underdog but my favorite scene by far has to be when Jane is trying to get George to propose to her (again).  The feminist in me may not agree with the (now dated) “need a man” sentiments, but it’s such a heartfelt, touching scene that I‘m being a bit nit picky.  Even I can recognize that Jane’s life would be easier (in theory) if she had a mate to help.  She kinda tricks him into it.    “Well say it!  Why can’t you just say it?” ~Janey



Here are some more things Jack Lemmon said about working with Doris Day:

“Doris is a joy to work with.  She was never a minute late, always good-humored, and always solicitous of the people around her.  They were her family and she cared about them, not for appearance’s sake, but she cared.”

“She also has impeccable comedic timing, which is the quality I most admire in a performer.  To play with her is elevating.  She makes you  want to give all you’ve got to a scene, to rise to her level.  I also feel that Doris has an enticing sexual quality that is there but subliminal.”  ~Jack Lemmon







There is a third photo in this series that I would love it if someone could share, thx.



I loved what Jack said about Doris' critique for his album "A Slice of Lemmon".  She didn't just say "That's lovely".  She gave me great technical constructive criticism.  
"I think Doris is a very sexy lady who doesn't know how sexy she is.  That's the integral part of her charm.  Beautiful Doris with that fantastic body, all sweetness and charm up front, and that turns people on, and I don't think she could have had the success she's had if she didn't have this sexy whirlpool frothing around underneath her All-American-girl exterior."
"...she was the Fred Astaire of comedy."
"Making a movie with Doris was a piece of cake---a sexy ride on her coattails all the way.

~James Garner  R.I.P.
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Barbara
This post was updated on .
I LOVE "It Happened to Jane." Doris and Jack are so good together ... Doris once said they just bounced off of one another. It's too bad they didn't do another film together. They also had great chemistry. It also has one of my favorite Doris scenes ... she climbs up on top of the train ... uses her feminine wiles (in a most charming way) to get Lemmon to propose to her ... and then screams out: "Oh George, you proposed!" I laugh every time I see that ..  Also, did you know you can hear Terry call out, "What are you going to do George." In one scene in the court room from the balcony. Also I have also heard Doris Mother was in a scene when Jane and George ride back into town and he has just found out he has been elected first selectman, she is one of the ladies that is standing beside the car.
Also the things I liked about this film, was Jack Lemmon (George) who is obviously in love with Jane, but hasn't proposed to her since he was 11. Although he runs for first selectman every year, he doesn't win until he gives a speech in defense of Jane. I love Doris for being Doris. How she screams when her lobsters are returned, how she looks a Jack Lemmon with pride, how she fights for her rights, and her appearance on I've Got a Secret.
I love the feel of this movie, I think because it was filmed on location. I am very fond of of the scenes where Jane is showing the reporter around town. I too think the name of the movie was not a good choice. I agree with Holly, would maybe have been better to name it something like "That Jane From Maine"
Also another quote from Jack Lemmon about Doris. Jack Lemmon raved, “I think she is potentially one of the greatest actresses I’ll ever work with, because in every scene she is so open, simple, and honest that I found myself in the position of having to play up to her. Which, in the parlance of actors, means she’s so good that I automatically reacted to her.”















"Be Prepared" ♪

"Stay With The Happy People" ♫ ♪♫
Barbara Norton
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Re: IT HAPPENED TO JANE 1959

Barbara
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Love this shot of Doris face. When she goes to New York, and is standing at the door of her hotel room and the reporter guy has just asked her to marry him.



"It Happen To Jane" ♪

"Stay With The Happy People" ♫ ♪♫
Barbara Norton
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Re: IT HAPPENED TO JANE 1959

fluffy cloud
Haven't seen this movie.



love Doris' look and I guess it must be a fun film!
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Sinem
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Re: IT HAPPENED TO JANE 1959

Barbara
Thanks Dorine and Sinem for all your wonderful pictures, and Dorine you must see this cute film.

Sam!! You know you are not suspose to be on the girl's side..




"Be Prepared" ♪





"Stay With The Happy People" ♫ ♪♫
Barbara Norton
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cjoyjohnson@bellsouth.net
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This is a cute movie.  Doris said in her interview with Nancy Sinatra that she loved working with
Jack Lemmon.  I enjoyed this movie and if you've never seen it..it's worth watching.

 
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Re: IT HAPPENED TO JANE 1959

Hollywood
In reply to this post by mikeydv
I thought more people would comment on this film b/c they could watch the whole film on YouTube for free.  Besides, it's a cute film.
"I think Doris is a very sexy lady who doesn't know how sexy she is.  That's the integral part of her charm.  Beautiful Doris with that fantastic body, all sweetness and charm up front, and that turns people on, and I don't think she could have had the success she's had if she didn't have this sexy whirlpool frothing around underneath her All-American-girl exterior."
"...she was the Fred Astaire of comedy."
"Making a movie with Doris was a piece of cake---a sexy ride on her coattails all the way.

~James Garner  R.I.P.