Reviewed bywhitermornrjf-comVote: 9/10/10
Viewing this as a baby boomer today and remembering watching as a nearteenager in 1960 or there about; I found this to be refreshingly warm,funny, and filled with some very beautiful scenery of America thebeautiful. When I originally viewed this movie it was more of a goodguy or girl versus a bad guy. Today on a cable movie network I watchedit and was in awe of the beauty I missed as a young lad. Watch themovie for content, for Jack Lemon, Ernie Kovacks, or just because ofDoris; but take a moment to observe the buildings, the towns, thescenery featured during the train ride, or just to see the townspeoplein the parade at the end and maybe you will find yourself asking thesesame questions.
Where did the filming of this movie actually take place? Was the paradethe actual city's population and band? Why did the movie industryabandon a wholesome Americana for such violent and explicit movies? ItHappened to Jane; is a wonderful movie that should be a real lifeexperience that happens to all of us. This today was more like ajourney back to my childhood than just watching a movie. Perhaps if weas movie goers supported this venue of entertainment, then we might getback to being America the Beautiful as beautiful as she once was. Yes,she is still the best place in the world, but wouldn't it be grand toreturn to those happy glorious Doris Day(s) of yesteryear. R. John afan of America the Beautiful
Reviewed bybkoganbingVote: 8/10/10
It Happened to Jane presents Doris Day as a woman on a mission. She'sinherited a lobster business from her late husband and due to some costcutting 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 therailroad. They win a nominal sum, but that ain't good enough. They bothcarry on the fight and she becomes a media star. Kind of like a Fiftiesversion of Erin Brockovich.
Of course all of this is done at the incredible stupidity andabominable sense of public relations that Ernie Kovacs has. Hischaracter is yet another version of Al Capp's General Bullmoose. Andthat character was a satire on Eisenhower's first Defense SecretaryCharles E. Wilson. Wilson at his confirmation hearings uttered thatnever to be forgotten phrase that he had always operated on theprinciple 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'dhave to say Kovacs was having a whale of a good time in this part.
The movie had some nice location shooting which definitely helped. AndI completely agree with the previous reviewer who said that Lemmon andDay meshed nicely together as a team. It is a pity they weren't everteamed again.
A favorite character part in the film for me is Russ Brown who playsDay's uncle and a former railroad engineer, a fact that comes in handyduring the climax of the film.
It's a nice family film, but it also gets in a few good satirical shotsat American business types.
Reviewed bymrsastorVote: 7/10/10
This has to be the most underrated and overlooked of the comedies fromDoris Day's later career. I'm surprised at the relatively low score ithas received here on IMDb, as it's a really fun and entertaining movie(particularly following the unfortunate Tunnel of Love she appeared inthe prior year).
Rather than the lush, opulent interiors and wardrobe we usually lookforward to in a Day comedy, this one is stunning for its exteriors.Filmed in New England in the summer of 1958, the film exudes idyllicsmall town splendor. Day plays Jane Osgood, a widowed entrepreneur (all"independent" women in 1950's TV or movies are either widows, as inLucille Ball's later television work, or impossible-to-marry shrewslike Joan Crawford in The Best of Everything). Osgood operates abudding lobster business, and when an expensive shipment is ruined bythe laxity of the railroad, she takes on railroad magnet Harry FosterMalone in a highly publicized David & Goliath lawsuit. Ernie Kovacs isparticularly memorable in his portrayal of Harry Foster Malone, anobvious and amusing allusion to Orson Welles' Charles Foster Kane,which was of course an allusion to William Randolph Hurst. In her legalbattle, Osgood enlists the aid of local attorney and old friend GeorgeDenham, the man she's "supposed" to be with and just doesn't realizeit, played well by a young Jack Lemmon. Throughout the course of thestory, the film seems to at regular intervals inject some ratherinsightful observations on a multitude of thought-provoking topics,including the place and nature of democracy in a capitalist society,the overwhelming power wielded by big business, even the (at the time)ever expanding place of television in our lives and its ability toinfluence and inform. And all of this in a comedy!
The only negative I can think of is the inclusion of perhaps the worstmusical number ever put on film. Jane Osgood is the den mother of thelocal boy-scout troop (naturally) and at the camp out in her back yardshe leads them in a sing-a-long of the single most stupid, dreadful andendless song you ever heard in your life. "Be Prepared" well theywarned you! It starts out as amusingly bad, but then seems to lastabout fifteen or twenty minutes until you think you'd rather take yourown life than hear one more note. Any self-respecting boy scout overthe age of five would kick you right in the nuts if you asked him tosing this wretched torturous piece of nonsense.
This aside (it is unfortunately not that uncommon in films of thisera), this film benefits well from a strong, well written script and anexcellent cast. It is actually much more intelligent and heart-warmingthan any of the Doris Day-Rock Hudson pairings, and while it is a verydifferent kind of film, it can hold its own against any of those.Highly recommended, but be prepared to hit the "mute" button when thoseboy-scouts start singing!
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.