6.6/10
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It Happened to Jane (1959)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 24 May 1959 (UK)
Jane Osgood runs a lobster business, which supports her two young children. Railroad staff inattention ruins her shipment, so with her lawyer George, Jane sues Harry Foster Malone, director of the line and the "meanest man in the world".

Director:

Richard Quine

Writers:

Norman Katkov (screenplay), Max Wilk (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Doris Day ... Jane Osgood
Jack Lemmon ... George Denham
Ernie Kovacs ... Harry Foster Malone
Steve Forrest ... Lawrence Clay 'Larry' Hall
Teddy Rooney ... Billy Osgood
Russ Brown Russ Brown ... Uncle Otis
Walter Greaza Walter Greaza ... Crawford Sloan
Parker Fennelly Parker Fennelly ... Homer Bean
Mary Wickes ... Matilda Runyon
Philip Coolidge ... Wilbur Peterson
Max Showalter ... Selwyn Harris (as Casey Adams)
John Cecil Holm John Cecil Holm ... Aaron Caldwell
Gina Gillespie ... Betty Osgood
Dick Crockett Dick Crockett ... Clarence Runyon
Napoleon Whiting ... Eugene - Waiter
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Storyline

Jane Osgood is trying to support her two young children by running a lobster business. After one of her shipments is ruined by inattention at the railroad station, Jane decides to take on Harry Foster Malone, director of the line and the "meanest man in the world". With the help of her lifelong friend - and lawyer - George Denham, Jane sues Malone for the price of her lobsters & her lost business. What she ends up with is a lot more than either of them bargained for. Written by April M. Cheek <Aravis2713@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A warm, wonderful movie for the whole family! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Jane from Maine See more »

Filming Locations:

Plainville, Connecticut, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arwin Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Doris Day wrote that her manager/husband Martin Melcher was terribly concerned over the box-office failure of this film and The Tunnel of Love (1958). Their failures caused Day to drop out of the Top Ten Box Office Stars. Day and Melcher had words about him hustling her into almost any film for the money instead of waiting to find good scripts that would have produced better results. See more »

Goofs

The movie is supposed to take place in the Bangor, ME area but the microphone that Gene Rayburn is holding and the supporting television truck is for WTIC, a station in Hartford, CT a good 300 miles away. See more »

Connections

References Youth Wants to Know (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Be Prepared
Music by Fred Karger
Lyrics by Richard Quine
See more »

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User Reviews

 
General Bullmoose meets The Lobster Lady
25 October 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

It Happened to Jane presents Doris Day as a woman on a mission. She's inherited a lobster business from her late husband and due to some cost cutting on the railroad that President Ernie Kovacs has put through, her lobsters were dead on arrival at their destination.

I'd be burned up as well and Doris and lawyer Jack Lemmon sue the railroad. They win a nominal sum, but that ain't good enough. They both carry on the fight and she becomes a media star. Kind of like a Fifties version of Erin Brockovich.

Of course all of this is done at the incredible stupidity and abominable sense of public relations that Ernie Kovacs has. His character is yet another version of Al Capp's General Bullmoose. And that character was a satire on Eisenhower's first Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson. Wilson at his confirmation hearings uttered that never to be forgotten phrase that he had always operated on the principle that what was good for General Motors was good for the USA. Wilson was a fatuous sort of gent, just like Ernie Kovacs here. I'd have to say Kovacs was having a whale of a good time in this part.

The movie had some nice location shooting which definitely helped. And I completely agree with the previous reviewer who said that Lemmon and Day meshed nicely together as a team. It is a pity they weren't ever teamed again.

A favorite character part in the film for me is Russ Brown who plays Day's uncle and a former railroad engineer, a fact that comes in handy during the climax of the film.

It's a nice family film, but it also gets in a few good satirical shots at American business types.


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