601. It Happened One Night (1934)

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.


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