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.