It Happened to Jane (1959)

98, 100 or 128 mins | Comedy | June 1959

Director:

Richard Quine

Writer:

Norman Katkov

Producer:

Richard Quine

Cinematographer:

Charles "Bud" Lawton

Editor:

Charles Nelson

Production Designer:

Cary Odell

Production Company:

Arwin Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Wreck of the Old 97 , The Jane from Maine and Miss Casey Jones Twinkle and Shine . Executive producer Martin Melcher was Doris Day's husband at the time this film was made. Terry Melcher, who appeared in a bit role in the film, was the son of Day and her first husband, Al Jorden. Martin Melcher, Day's third husband, legally adopted Terry, who later became a producer for Columbia Records. According to a May 1959 MPH news item, location filming was done in Chester, Connecticut. The news item added that the film's premiere in Boston benefitted the St. Francis de Sales Church. Staged versions of the popular 1950s television shows The Today Show, The Big Payoff and I've Got a Secret , with their regular personalities, were included in the film. According to various 1961 news items, Columbia reissued the film in Sep 1961 under the new title Twinkle and Shine , which was also the name of a theme song that Day recorded for the reissued picture. ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Wreck of the Old 97 , The Jane from Maine and Miss Casey Jones Twinkle and Shine . Executive producer Martin Melcher was Doris Day's husband at the time this film was made. Terry Melcher, who appeared in a bit role in the film, was the son of Day and her first husband, Al Jorden. Martin Melcher, Day's third husband, legally adopted Terry, who later became a producer for Columbia Records. According to a May 1959 MPH news item, location filming was done in Chester, Connecticut. The news item added that the film's premiere in Boston benefitted the St. Francis de Sales Church. Staged versions of the popular 1950s television shows The Today Show, The Big Payoff and I've Got a Secret , with their regular personalities, were included in the film. According to various 1961 news items, Columbia reissued the film in Sep 1961 under the new title Twinkle and Shine , which was also the name of a theme song that Day recorded for the reissued picture. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Apr 1959.
---
Daily Variety
21 Apr 59
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Apr 59
p. 6.
Film Daily
8 Mar 1961.
---
Filmfacts
1960
p. 161.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 1958
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 1958
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 59
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1961.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 1961.
---
Motion Picture Herald
2 May 1959
p. 19.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Apr 59
p. 236.
New York Times
6 Aug 59
p. 18.
Variety
22 Apr 59
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
From a story by
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus cond
Comp by
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hair styles
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Be Prepared," music by Fred Karger, lyrics by Richard Quine
"It Happened to Jane," words and music by I. J. Roth and Joe Lubin.
COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Miss Casey Jones Twinkle and Shine
The Jane from Maine
The Wreck of the Old 97
Release Date:
June 1959
Premiere Information:
world premiere in Boston: 12 May 1959
Production Date:
2 June--31 July 1958
Copyright Claimant:
Arwin Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
25 April 1959
Copyright Number:
LP14707
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Black and White
Eastman color by Pathé
Duration(in mins):
98, 100 or 128
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19188
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Widow Jane Osgood, the proprietress of a lobster restaurant supply business in Cape Anne, Maine, finds her livelihood threatened when the E&P Railroad fails to deliver a shipment on time, causing the crustaceans to wither and die. Blaming the railroad for her misfortune, Jane asks her childhood friend, attorney George Denham, to sue the E&P, and George assures Jane that the railroad will be forced to reimburse her for her loss. In New York City, Harry Foster Malone, the ill-natured new owner of the E&P, is masticating on a lobster when word comes of Jane’s lawsuit. Crawford Sloan, the railroad’s attorney, advises Malone that the railroad is responsible for Jane’s loss and suggests that it would be a publicity coup for the company personally to deliver a reimbursement check to her. Traveling to Cape Anne, Crawford, accompanied by E&P board member Selwyn Harris, presents Jane with a check for $700, the value of the lobsters. Jane, however, claims that her loss was far greater than that, because the railroad’s untimely delivery dealt a blow to her business’ reputation, thus threatening her survival. Just then George, dressed in a Cub Scout leader uniform, arrives at the house with Jane’s young son Billy. Although George advises Jane to take the check, she refuses and later lectures George about his lack of gumption, pointing out that although George has opposed Aaron Caldwell, the corrupt leader of the town council for years, he has never been able to rally the votes to defeat him. Jane goes through with the suit, but when a friendly jury awards Jane $2,500 to cover her loss, Harris refuses ... +


Widow Jane Osgood, the proprietress of a lobster restaurant supply business in Cape Anne, Maine, finds her livelihood threatened when the E&P Railroad fails to deliver a shipment on time, causing the crustaceans to wither and die. Blaming the railroad for her misfortune, Jane asks her childhood friend, attorney George Denham, to sue the E&P, and George assures Jane that the railroad will be forced to reimburse her for her loss. In New York City, Harry Foster Malone, the ill-natured new owner of the E&P, is masticating on a lobster when word comes of Jane’s lawsuit. Crawford Sloan, the railroad’s attorney, advises Malone that the railroad is responsible for Jane’s loss and suggests that it would be a publicity coup for the company personally to deliver a reimbursement check to her. Traveling to Cape Anne, Crawford, accompanied by E&P board member Selwyn Harris, presents Jane with a check for $700, the value of the lobsters. Jane, however, claims that her loss was far greater than that, because the railroad’s untimely delivery dealt a blow to her business’ reputation, thus threatening her survival. Just then George, dressed in a Cub Scout leader uniform, arrives at the house with Jane’s young son Billy. Although George advises Jane to take the check, she refuses and later lectures George about his lack of gumption, pointing out that although George has opposed Aaron Caldwell, the corrupt leader of the town council for years, he has never been able to rally the votes to defeat him. Jane goes through with the suit, but when a friendly jury awards Jane $2,500 to cover her loss, Harris refuses to pay and tells Jane that his company intends to appeal the verdict. Furious, Jane decides to apply for a Writ of Execution against the railroad, and soon after, Sheriff Wilbur Peterson hands stationmaster Homer Bean a writ awarding Jane the train known as “Old 97” in lieu of the money owed her by the railroad. Matilda Runyon, the town’s switchboard operator, and an aspiring reporter, sees the writ as her opportunity for a big scoop and notifies a New York newspaper, which sends reporter Larry Hall to cover the story of “David vs. Goliath.” The media soon descend on Cape Anne, glorifying the idea of a poor widow taking on big business, and couching the dispute as “the eternal drama of the American ideal, the struggle for equality for all.” As Larry, a charming bachelor, interviews Jane, he becomes enamored with his subject, arousing George’s jealousy. In New York, meanwhile, Malone sees the headlines in praise of Jane, and fuming, demands that Jane pay him $250 a day to rent the tracks on which Old 97 sits. To raise the money to pay Sloan, Larry suggests that Jane accept the offers from several New York television stations to appear on their programs. George is outraged when Jane leaves Billy and her daughter Betty in his care and goes to New York with Larry. While watching the game show I’ve Got a Secret , Malone sees contestant Jane assert that “he is the meanest man on Earth.” To retaliate, Malone phones the show and declares that not only is he canceling Jane’s rent, but he is giving her the train to keep. Later that night, Larry proposes to Jane, who asks for some time to consider. When Jane returns home, George wrongly accuses her of having an affair with Larry. Later, at the town meeting, Caldwell announces that Malone has cancelled all railroad service to Cape Anne and blames Jane for the town’s misfortune. After a tearful Jane apologizes and runs out of the room, Caldwell calls for the election of the First Selectman. George, newly invigorated, makes an impassioned speech about the town’s callous treatment of Jane, then leaves. Afterward, the council elects George as their new First Selectman. Realizing that they can use Old 97 to deliver Jane’s lobsters, George enlists his uncle Otis, a retired railroad engineer, to drive the engine. The rest of the town rallies around the effort, and begins delivering coal by the box and bagful to feed the engine. To thwart Jane, Malone, who legally must allow the Old 97 use of his tracks, routes the train in the wrong direction, causing his Board of Directors to quit in disgust. As the story of Jane’s futile quest spreads, reporters besiege Malone’s office, and Crawford warns him that he is undermining the railroad by attacking Jane. Aboard the train, Jane, aware that Larry will be waiting for her answer at Marshalton, their first stop, runs to the engine room where George is stoking the furnace. To goad George into proposing, Jane declares that she has decided to marry Larry. The ruse works, and George and Jane are formally engaged. Because of their circuitous routing, they soon run out of coal, stranding the train on the trucks and thus blocking an oncoming passenger train. Following Crawford’s advice, Malone flies to meet the train and concedes defeat. To insure their timely arrival, Jane insists that Malone accompany them onboard, and Malone, seeing that George is exhausted, takes over stoking the engine. When the train pulls into Marshalton, Larry stands gaping from the platform as George publicly kisses Jane. Some time later in Cape Anne, a parade celebrating George’s swearing-in ceremony is upstaged by the arrival of a new fire engine donated to the town by Malone. When the crowd spots a beaming Malone watching from behind a building, they run to thank him, but he jumps into his waiting limousine and speeds off. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.