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By virtue of having been frequently replayed as one of the afternoon movies on a local New York City television station, IT HAPPENED TO JANE ($20) just happens to be one of those movies that I saw quite a few times in my youth. Of course, IT HAPPENED TO JANE is also one of those movies that I havenít seen since my youth. Having fond remembrances of this film, I really wanted to see it again, when it was announced for DVD. Fortunately, IT HAPPENED TO JANE has held up very well over the years, remaining the delightful little film that I remembered it to be.

Doris Day stars in IT HAPPENED TO JANE as Jane Osgood, a young New England widow with two children, who is running a live lobster business. However Janeís business gets off to a bad start, when her first big order of the season winds up dead due to the railroadís mishandling of the shipment. Turning to her longtime friend and perpetual suitor, George Denham (Jack Lemmon) for legal help, Jane decides to take on penny-pinching railroad tycoon Harry Foster Malone (Ernie Kovacs) in an effort to recoup her losses. This, of course, sets up a David Vs. Goliath battle between the widow and the railroad man, with all the expected humorous results. The cast of IT HAPPENED TO JANE also features Steve Forrest, Teddy Rooney, Russ Brown, Walter Greaza, Parker Fennelly and Mary Wickes.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made IT HAPPENED TO JANE available on DVD in a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. This is a pretty nice looking transfer that produces a generally crisp and well-defined picture. There is some softness here and there, but it is primarily related to the filmís optical fades & dissolves. While the colors are generally pretty nice, but one isnít likely to mistake the hues for those processed at Technicolor in 1959. Saturation is fairly natural, but some of the opticals do appear a bit off. Blacks appear accurate, whites are clean and contrast is usually smooth- again the opticals display some minor weaknesses. The film elements are in good shape for their age, displaying few blemishes. There is some noticeable grain in various places, but the picture has a decidedly film like quality. Digital compression artifacts are well contained.

IT HAPPENED TO JANE comes with a good quality Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack. Most instances of background hiss and surface noise have been cleaned up in the mastering process, leaving the track with a fairly smooth sonic quality. Fidelity has the expected limitations of a forty five year old movie, but for the most part, the sound is reasonably good. Music is a bit thin, but nothing out of the ordinary. Dialogue is cleanly rendered and remains totally understandable. No other language tracks are provided, but English, French, and Japanese subtitles have been included.

The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as bonus trailers for GILDA, IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU and YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER.

IT HAPPENED TO JANE is a delightful little comedy that fans of Doris Day and Jack Lemon are certain to want to add to their collections. Columbiaís DVD looks and sounds fine, which should please them to no end.



It Happened to Jane


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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