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It Happened One Night (1934)

Unrated | | Comedy, Romance | 23 February 1934 (USA)
2:31 | Trailer

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A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.



(screen play), (based on the short story by)
Top Rated Movies #171 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Arthur Hoyt ...
Blanche Friderici ...
Zeke's Wife


Ellie Andrews has just tied the knot with society aviator King Westley when she is 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. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two great lovers of the screen in the grandest of romantic comedies ! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 February 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night Bus  »

Box Office


$325,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Columbia Pictures was considered a "poverty row" studio at the time of the film's release. Both MGM and Warner Bros. would lend out temperamental actors to Columbia as a "humbling experience." Studio boss Harry Cohn, who loathed paying for his own roster of contract stars during the early 30's, would invariably assign them to work on Frank Capra's films. Although the studio had received Oscar nominations prior to this picture, its success virtually single-handedly lifted Columbia out of the ranks of poverty row. See more »


When on the bus, singing the trapeze song, the bus is moving and the driver is moving the wheel as though steering, but throughout the entire song, the scenery outside never moves. See more »


Ellie Andrews: Outside of the fact that you don't like him you haven't got a thing against King.
Alexander Andrews: He's a fake, Ellie.
Ellie Andrews: He's one of the best flyers in the country.
Alexander Andrews: He's no good and you know it. You married him only because I told you not to.
Ellie Andrews: You've been telling me what not to do ever since I can remember.
Alexander Andrews: That's because you've always been a stubborn idiot,
Ellie Andrews: I come from a long line of stubborn idiots!
See more »


Referenced in Rodeo Dough (1940) See more »


The Flying Trapeze
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Gaston Lyle
Lyrics by George Leybourne
Performed by all bus passengers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Pleasant, Funny Classic
13 September 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is a pleasant, funny classic that shows it age only slightly, and that has a lot of scenes you can look forward to each time that you see it. Gable and Colbert each get roles that are nicely suited to them, and are well-remembered for their performances. The supporting cast also rounds out the picture with some good character acting.

The cross-country trip on the bus and via other assorted methods is fun to watch, with several nice vignettes that complement the main story line. (The atmosphere on the long bus trip is done especially well.) The plot is of course not meant to be taken too seriously in itself, but it comes in very handy for setting up good characters and comedy.

It all comes across as effortlessly entertaining romantic comedy, with some classic scenes and characters you learn to care for in spite of their mistakes.

49 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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