The Devil and Miss Jones

Synopsis: Department store owner J.P. Merrick finds that several of his employees are unionizing to get more money and better working conditions. In order to find out who the organizers are, he gets a job at the store as a shoe salesman. Not realizing his true identity, he's befriended by Mary Jones and Joe O'Brien, the two ringleaders, and Elizabeth Ellis, a charming older woman with whom he develops a romance.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Sam Wood
Production: RKO Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
92 min

Oh, George.

Yes, sir?

Has he seen it?

Oh...Thank you.

The richest man in the world hung in effigy

outside his own store on 38th street

Morning, J.P.


I thought I sold everything

below 38th street three years ago.

That store is right on 38th street

J.P. so we kept it.

Neely Department Store.

N, N, N, N...

Natural Foundry, Napex Corporation....

National Radiator, yes Neely Department Store

You still own it.

This dummy doesn't look like me.

Maybe it's supposed to be one of you.

There's a sign on the dummy with your name on it.


M-E-R-R...That's all you can see.

What's been done about this?!

We had a talk with the manager of the department store.

He fired the ring leader...

and half-a-dozen of the employees

who participated in it.

Have this picture enlarged!

And everybody, even watching it, fired.


An excellent suggestion, J.P.

I pay you a great deal to take care

of my interests and my privacy

I want privacy.

I haven't had my photograph in a newspaper in 20 years.

This is temporary, J.P.

Who could have gone to all the trouble of finding out

I own this piddly investment?

Our detective will ferret the whole

thing out in no time.

What detective?

We have a man who is an expert.

If you care to speak with him...

He'll show you this is a simple little disturbance

that really has no significance.

The Boston Tea Party was a little disturbance.

I want to talk to this...detective.

Good day, gentleman.

Good day, JP. Goodbye.

Good day, JP. Good day, sir.

There's a detective here for you to interview.

This way, sir.

Thank you.

Sit down.

Thank you.

What's your name?

Thomas Higgins.

What progress have you made, Higgins?

I uh, I've gotten a job in the store.

Nobody in the whole store knows

I'm a detective except the personnel head.

Not even the general manager

To Whom It May Concern:

Thomas Higgins is employed in a confidential capacity,

and is accountable only to me.

Arthur Davis - Personnel Head.

Neely's Department Store.

I see.

I'm a salesman in the childrens show department.

That's the hotbed.

The whole fifth floor.

Will you have the graham crackers individually...

or shall I crumple them in the bowl?


Yes, sir.

No. Crumple them for a change.

Yes, sir.

Tell me. How soon could you find out

who these employees are? The troublemakers?

Not more than two or three weeks.

Why not two or three days?

I have to worm my way into their confidence.

Become one of them.

How do I know what they are going to do

in the next two or three weeks?

I'm not going to hang from every lamppost in the city

while you worm your way into their confidence.

It's a very difficult assignemnt.

There's nothing difficult about it!

Fire anyone that's even suspicious.

You don't have to be accurate.

Is there anyone you suspect yet?

Well I...I haven't really started.

I thought I'd begin the day after tomorrow.

What's that?

My wife's having a baby in Philadelphia.

That's where I live.

And I thought I'd go home tomorrow.

Mr Higgins, I don't think you ought to be separted

from your wife while you're having a baby.

I'll get someone else for this assignment.

That's very considerate of you, Mr Merrick.

My wife...

Nothing at all. I'll just keep this

card for the next fellow. Good day.

I'm very grateful to you for your kindness.

Perfectly alright.

Go back to Poughkeepsi and forget about it.

Poughkeepsie? Yes, sir.

Good day, sir.


Yes, sir?

Come here.

I want you to tell me the truth, George.

Yes, sir.

What would you like to see changed in the world?

In a business way?

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Norman Krasna

Norman Krasna (November 7, 1909 – November 1, 1984) was an American screenwriter, playwright, producer, and film director. He is best known for penning screwball comedies which centered on a case of mistaken identity. Krasna also directed three films during a forty-year career in Hollywood. He garnered four Academy Award screenwriting nominations, winning once for 1943's Princess O'Rourke, a film he also directed. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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