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This film began my love affair with old-timey films - of course, I had seen Frank Capra's classic Christmas 'It's a Wonderful Life', and I'd seen Clark Gable in 'Gone With the Wind', but I think 'It Happened One Night' trumps both of those films (seriously!). The humour is timeless, and watching it in the midst of the recession almost enhances the experience: originally filmed during the Great Depression, the film's subtle nods to the economic hardship - the "all nite" bus from Miami to New York, the meek motel owner and his penny-pinching, hard-faced wife, the infamous 'plumber's daughter' scene, 'Peter the King's' redundancy, and Ellie Andrews' blissful heiress obliviousness - make a viewer wonder how a re-make made today would deal with the same themes. But then you banish those thoughts, because a re-make would never be able to live up to the original!
My favorite scene is probably the aforementioned 'plumber's daughter' scene - Claudette Colbert's Ellie Andrews is on the run from her billionaire father, having escaped from his Palm Beach-docked yacht, in order to meet up with her hastily married gold-digging husband, 'King' Westley, in New York. Clark Gable is Peter Warne, a charming reporter with a drinking problem who's just been let go by his paper. He offers to help Ellie's escape as long as he gets the exclusive scoop to her story. To aid in her flight, however, they pose as a young married couple - in one scene, they fool the cops by pretending to have a massive fall-out in true American style, with Peter yelling 'once a plumber's daughter, always a plumber's daughter!'. Ellie had, of course, previously daydreamed of having the 'normal' life of such a girl.
It might be too screwbally for today's audience but most people I've shared this movie with love it. It's genuinely charming and touching. A must-see for anyone who loves romantic comedies - this is where it started!
This is a classic film, with brilliant dialogue and great chemistry between Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, both on great form.
Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) is a rich, spoiled socialite who runs away from her father when he annuls her secret marriage to society aviator King Westley. She winds up on a bus heading to King Westley sitting next to out-of-work reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable). Peter realises who she is and when her purse is stolen, he blackmails her into accepting his protection on her journey in return for her allowing him to publish the story. Along the journey, they fall in love but, as you'd expect, their path doesn't run smooth.
The two leads are perfect for this film. Gorgeous Clark Gable is so charismatic and, at times, so charming and protective that you can see why she falls for him. At the same time, he doesn't play the character as too good to be true. He's moody, a little insecure and gets jealous of the attention Ellie gets from other men. Ellie starts off as beautiful, reserved and cutting but, as the film progresses, she thaws and becomes increasingly vivacious and sweet.
The dialogue is brilliant and there are some really funny scenes. The chemistry between Ellie and Peter is perfect. Not only can you see why they're attracted to each, but you can see how they balance each other out.
My favourite thing is probably that they have equally strong parts. In some scenes, she plays the straight woman to his funny man and in others its vice versa. It makes for a really enjoyable film and the perfect screwball comedy.
A rich woman becomes distraught and runs away from home when her father refuses her to marry the man she loves. Meanwhile her father puts up a prize for the return of his daughter.
She marries an out of work reporter who agrees to help her as long as she sells him an exclusive. As the two travellers spend time with each other they fall in love. Just before the film ends both have reasons to believe betrayal. Things work out and they marry at the end.
This was the first major comedy film made. Release date is 1934. The film is in black and white.
They don't make films good as this any more. It was the first time that a film won five Oscars, taking all the top categories.
The romantic relationship develops over several days so the title is misleading.
Overall the film is extremely good. It has funny dialogue and the characters go through several odd situations. Best scene is when the woman shows her legs to hitch hike a ride.
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT is a wonderful film from 1934 starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It tells the story of Ellie Andrews (played by Colbert) who is a spoiled heiress who runs away from her father when he tries to stop her from marrying her beloved. She comes across an unemployed reporter, Peter Warne (played by Gable) to whom she gives exclusive rights to her story in return for him reuniting him with her beloved. She doesn't really want to give him her story, but he blackmails her by saying that he will tell her father where she is if she doesn't.
What follows is one of the first 'road movies' as the couple travel together. What starts off as an antagonistic relationship eventually cools, until eventually the two fall in love.
Directed by Frank Capra this is a wonderful movie starring 2 stars of the period. Clark Gable is highly amusing and Colbert, who is less well remembered today, is excellent in the female lead role. The film won an Academy Award and was deemed highly amusing at the time, and this comedy still stands up today. In fact I would personally say that this is one of the finest movies ever made.
The DVD is available from Amazon UK for less than £4 and features a couple of great extras, including an interview with the director's son, and a radio broadcast version of the story. However personally I would recommend going for the Region 1 release, which is a little more expensive, as it also features an excellent commentary by the director's son, Frank Capra Jr.