It Happened One Night Review
Classic romantic comedy, even 80 years on.
The first film to ever win all five major Academy Awards (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay), Capra’s 1934 classic stands the test of time.When spoilt rich kid Ellie escapes the clutches of her wealthy and disapproving father to reunite with her ‘beloved’ – a fortune-hunting pilot who her father (quite rightly) believes is only interested in her for her money – she thinks that she genuinely has the wherewithal to make it cross-country from Florida to New York on a coach, all by herself.Sat next to a drunken and cocky ex-newspaper reporter, Peter, who she initially takes a disliking to, she soon finds herself requiring his help to get to her destination – even going to far as to pose as a married couple in order to evade her father’s detectives and make their way across country without a penny to spare.
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert share undeniably excellent chemistry as the unlikely duo forced together, with Gable’s natural charm, star presence, and ease with a Sorkin-level razor-sharp script elevating this to a surprisingly rich and nuanced role (the scene where he intimidates a fellow passenger who wants to sell them out, by pretending to be an armed kidnapper, is a nice touch), and Colbert – even all those decades ago – striking out as a well-defined, forthright and opinionated woman capable of more than keeping up with Gable’s wit.
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert share undeniably excellent chemistry as the unlikely duo forced together.
Capra’s take on the romantic comedy – or screwball comedy, depending how you look at it – remains a breezy but sophisticated ride; one of the best of its time, and still a memorable classic all these years later.
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