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It Happened One Night

July 4th, 2019   |   Updated on February 14th, 2022

Ellie Andrews has just tied the knot with society aviator King Westley when she was whisked away to her father’s yacht and out of King’s clutches. Ellie jumps ship and eventually winds up on a bus headed back to her husband.

Reluctantly she must accept the help of out-of-work reporter Peter Warne.

Actually, Warne doesn’t give her any choice: either she sticks with him until he gets her back to her husband, or he’ll blow the whistle on Ellie to her father. Either way, Peter gets what (he thinks!) he wants …. a really juicy newspaper story.

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Movie Reviews: “It Happened One Night

Movie Review: Christy Lemire

What further wisdom could I possibly impart about “It Happened One Night,” one of the most celebrated, imitated and adored pieces of classic cinema? All I can do is add my voice to the chorus of praises it’s deservedly earned over the past 80-plus years, and swoon at the sexy, sparky chemistry between Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.

“It Happened One Night” is a movie I first saw a long time ago as a kid, at an age when I was far too young to appreciate it. I’ve written before about the huge influence my parents had on me movie-wise, and how sharing their very different tastes ended up shaping the career path I’ve followed. While my mother’s preferences ran toward Fellini and the Coen brothers, my father was more of a traditionalist, with a fondness for old-school leading men like Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, and Gable.

I hadn’t revisited Frank Capra’s 1934 romantic comedy — the first film to sweep the top five Oscar categories of the best picture, director, screenplay, actor, and actress — in many years. So when it came up as the latest Christy by Request title — the suggestion of Barry Deacon (@ShieldJock on Twitter) — I was thrilled to revisit it, especially as a longtime film critic. (Barry also was kind enough to choose Bicycle Thieves and The Lives of Others for me to review.)

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Movie Review: Hollywood REPORTER

On Feb. 22, 1934, Frank Capra’s classic road trip film, It Happened One Night hit theaters. The pic went on to win five honors at the 7th Academy Awards, including best actor for Clark Gable and actress for Claudette Colbert. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below.

Well, another swell, the bang-up grand picture has dropped in our midst. It is Columbia’s It Happened One Night, a charming, human, believable story, with charming, human, believable characters.

The thing gallops right along, kicking up its heels in cheerful, frisky joie de vivre, and the audience gallops right along with it. There’s not a dull moment, in spite of the fact that it runs a good two hours. Undoubtedly some of it near the end will be cut, but it is so fine throughout that it’s a shame it can’t be all kept in.

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Movie Review: DAILY NEWS

Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable make a potent combination in so far as their power to draw crowds into the theatre is concerned. The first showing of “It Happened One Night,” in which they appeared together for the first time, was greeted by a full house early yesterday morning at the Music Hall, while a long queue waited outside to get in.

The co-stars make a good team. They are an attractive pair and they play their respective roles with a refreshing lightness. They are ably assisted by a supporting cast that includes Walter Connolly, who gives, as always, a finished screen performance in the role of Claudette’s multi-millionaire father; Roscoe Karns, who is amusing as a flirtatious traveling salesman; Jameson Thomas, as a charming mountebank; Alan Hale, the late Blanche Frederici, Ward Bond, Arthur Hoyt and others.

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