Saturday, January 30, 2010

86. It Happened One Night (1934)

Running Time: 105 minutes
Directed By: Frank Capra
Written By: Samuel Hopkins Adams, Robert Riskin
Main Cast: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly


After already viewing and liking on Frank Capra film from the "1001" book, so far, this time, I'm given an even better one, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. "It Happened One Night" was the first of only three films to win the "big five" awards at the Oscars (including: Best Picture, Best Actor and Actress, Best Director and Best Writing), and it's not hard to see why.

Ellie Andrews is a spoiled heiress who, against the wishes of her extremely wealthy father, marries King Westley. Mr. Andrews is irate about that fact and plans to have the marriage annuled. Ellie, however, escapes her father's clutches and runs away from him, boarding the first bus she can get to New York City, where her newlywed husband awaits her. While en route to New York, Ellie stumbles across smooth talking, freshly fired newspaperman, Peter Warne (Gable) and the two detest each other right from the start, as Ellie steals the former newspaperman's bus seat. Although, Peter does go out of his way to try and charm Mrs. Andrews, even allowing her to sleep on him, after they decide to share the bus seat.

Eventually, Peter realizes who he's been spatting with the whole time and cuts a deal with her: If she'll help him get an exclusive newspaper story, regarding the whole Westley affair, then he'll help her get back to New York City. She agrees. Mr. Andrews has her picture put into all the papers, hires detectives to track her down and even goes so far as to offer a reward for any information leading to her retrieval. Peter helps her out though, pretending to be her husband, to outwit the detectives and scaring off one of the bus passengers who is out to collect the reward money. Eventually the pair are forced to leave the bus behind and take to footing it. They end up hitchhiking and as the pair journey through the U.S. together, they become fast friends and the romantic tension lingers in the air.

Without putting too much thought into it, I'll go out on a limb and say that the character of Peter Warne, may be my favorite character out of the "1001" book, thus far. He was such a likeable character and anytime he wasn't on the screen, I yearned for scenes involving him. Claudette Colbert was a great compliment to Clark Gable to, and the pair were good for countless, very memorable scenes, such as; the hitchhiking discussion, where Peter explains the three variations of the thumb, the piggyback ride discussion, the scene where Peter expalins that no man ever undresses the same way and the scene where they fool the detectives and pretend to be an old married couple. There are so many lovely scenes between the pair, that I couldn't list them all here and I wouldn't want to, as they're scenes that you need to experience first hand for yourself. Like I said in the beginning, it is not hard at all to see why this film swept the Academy Awards way back when, as it's pretty darn near flawless, in every aspect.

RATING: 10/10 There really was nothing wrong at all with "It Happened One Night", great acting, writing, situations, direction and plot make this a must see.

NEXT UP: The Thin Man...I was really hoping to get this one watched today, but it doesn't look like it's gonna' happen, so the review for "The Thin Man" should be up tomorrow afternoon.

January 30, 2010 6:35pm

1 comment:

  1. I watched this film last night and absolutely loved it.


SINS OF OMISSION - Entry #66: La piscine/The Swimming Pool (1969)

Running Time: 120 minutes Directed By: Jacques Deray Written By: Jean-Claude Carriere, Jacques Deray, Alain Page Main Cast: Alain Del...