Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Film | It Happened One Night (1934)

Taking a break from the Jane Russell Filmography Project, I sat down to watch the 1934 film It Happened One Night starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. This movie has been on my 'must see' list for awhile, I was happy to finally get to watch it.

On the run from her father, socialite Ellie Andrews is on her way to be with new husband King Westley in New York. Along the way she meets out of work Peter Warne who wants to use her story to get his job back. After a few, very funny  misadventures, they come to realize they are in love with each other.

I really didn't know what to expect going in to this film, but I was very happy to find it so delightful. While it wasn't fall out of your chair funny, I found myself laughing and giggling as Ellie and Peter have to deal with no transportation and no money. The couple had great chemistry and great comedic timing.

One scene I found very funny was the hitchhiking scene. You have Clark Gable giving some great faces and gestures only to have every car pass him up and as the cars pass him up... it gets even funnier. Of course all Ellie has to do is show some leg and the first car to pass slams on the breaks.

This was only my second time seeing Claudette in a film (first time being in Let's Make It Legal) and I was impressed by her acting and presence on screen. She was very funny in the scene where the detectives come and she takes on a southern accent and when she freaks out in the hay field thinking Peter has left her. Now I feel the need to see more of her films. Of course Gable was charming and a terrific actor. It isn't hard to see why he is loved by so many people now and in his own time.
I was reading up on the film and learned that the players involved were not that enthusiastic about making this picture. It turns out many other actresses, such as Myrna Loy, turned down this role and Claudette only accepted it because they doubled her salary and promised to be finished filming in four weeks. I bet, the stars were happy to have made this film when it became the first film ever to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Even if the stars weren't happy making the picture, I was definitely glad they did. A delightful film that has stood the test of time.

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