Saturday, October 23, 2010

Radio review – SGT – “The Devil and Miss Jones” (1946) **1/2

Norman Krasna’s farce has been reduced to half an hour and altered so it can be a vehicle for Van Johnson, who plays the Robert Cummings part, a rare union hero. The protagonist really should be Guy Kibee (as Charles Coburn) but they dispense with the set up in a quick bit of dialogue in order to introduce Johnson; most of the action centers around the Coney Island sequence, with Kibee getting arrested for pawning a watch and Johnson coming to his rescue. Donna Reed is fine in the Jean Arthur part. 
It doesn’t quite work – the Spring Byington plot is ignored altogether – but if you’re a fan of the film you’ll find it interesting. There are bobbysoxers in the audience who scream at the presence of Johnson – and there’s a joke where Van Johnson goes “who do you think I am? Van Johnson?”

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