Janie (1944): Michael Curtiz’s Comedy, Starring Joyce Reynolds

One of lesser known efforts of the prolific director Michael Curtiz (“Casablanca,” “Mildred Pierce,” the Errol Flynn adventures), “Janie” is adapted from the Broadway play by Josephine Bentham and Herschel Williams.

In this comedy about teenagers, Joyce Reynolds stars as Janie, a girl whose life changes radically when a military base is constructed near her town.

Edward Arnold and Ann Harding play Janie’s parents. Robert Hutton is the soldier and Richard Erdman the boy smitten with Janie.

Janie ends with the Army marching out and the Marines marching in, leaving the door open for a sequel, which was made in 1946, prosaically titled “Janie Gets Married.”

Sentimental and predictable, the film was clearly a product of its times, of how Hollywood wanted the world to view teenage life in the War years. There are some nice period details, though, such as the “coded slang” and the costumes.

Running time: 106 Minutes.

Released September 2, 1944.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Film Editing: Owen Marks

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The Film Editing Oscar went to Barbara McLean for the biopic “Wilson,” which was also nominated for Best Picture.