601. It Happened One Night (1934)

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7.8 Hilarious screwball
  • Acting 7.9
  • Directing 7.7
  • Story 7.9
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly

Director: Frank Capra

Running Time: 105 mins


It Happened One Night is an American film about a young socialite woman who runs away from her father, forcing her to marry a man of the upper class, and she meets a smooth-talking reporter with whom she unexpectedly falls in love.

This is another surprisingly hilarious film. I say that because it was made 80 years ago now, so I would have assumed that the comedy would be completely dated, however it’s not at all, and provides for a laugh-out-loud watch, entertaining from start to finish despite a few issues.

However, let’s start with the comedy. Despite a relatively quiet and slow-start, this film takes off into a great farce, full of stupidity and witty repartee throughout, which turns this film from what appears to be a classic romance into a raucous comedy.

It’s not just the farce that’s hilarious to watch, the relationship between the two main characters is also brilliant. To a certain degree, it’s just funny to see Clark Gable constantly patronising Claudette Colbert, while the fact that their relationship blossoms into a romance in the most bizarre way possible is also hilarious.

The classic ‘hitchhiking scene’ is a great showing of this film’s comedy. As well as representing a part of the social morals of the time, it’s an absolutely stupid scene that leaves you in tears with laughter.

Also, Clark Gable’s performance was brilliant. A Rhett Butler-esque character with a whole lot more comedy thrown in, allowing Gable to really exaggerate his tough guy image, which I thought was probably the funniest element of this film.

The only problem I would have with this film is its pacing. I didn’t mind the slow build-up, establishing the two main characters in depth, however there were too many periods throughout which completely reversed the fast-paced nature of the comedy in this film, and that stop-start nature was often very annoying.

Overall, this gets a 7.8, because despite its issues, it’s a hilariously funny and completely farcical film that is constantly enjoyable to watch.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com