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It Happened One Night (1934)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  23 February 1934 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 56,711 users  
Reviews: 227 user | 112 critic

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

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(screen play), (based on the short story by)
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Top 250 #155 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Andrews
...
Jameson Thomas ...
Westley
...
Danker
Arthur Hoyt ...
Zeke
Blanche Friderici ...
Zeke's Wife
Charles C. Wilson ...
Gordon
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

reporter | bus | love | reward | thief | See All (188) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night Bus  »

Box Office

Budget:

$325,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Miriam Hopkins and Margaret Sullavan turned down the role of Ellie. Harry Cohn suggested Loretta Young, who had starred in Frank Capra's Platinum Blonde (1931), but the director wasn't interested. See more »

Goofs

When Ellen asks the autocamp owner to use the telephone, she is refused permission and directed to the sheriff's office. However, a newspaper reporter later says that she telephoned her father from an autocamp. See more »

Quotes

[Peter is carrying Ellie across the creek slung over his shoulder]
Ellie Andrews: You know this is the first time in years I've ridden piggy-back.
Peter Warne: This isn't piggy-back.
Ellie Andrews: Course it is.
Peter Warne: You're crazy.
Ellie Andrews: I remember distinctly my father taking me for a piggy-back ride.
Peter Warne: And he carried you like this, I suppose?
Ellie Andrews: Yes.
Peter Warne: Your father didn't know beans about piggy-back riding.
Ellie Andrews: My uncle, mother's brother, has four children and I've seen them ride piggy-back.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Italians in America (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
(uncredited)
Written by Frank Churchill and Ann Ronell
Sung a cappella by Clark Gable
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Travel back in time, to the days when romantic comedies had not yet evolved into chick flicks
28 November 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

I was inspired to think of other films with completely mystifying titles. `The Phantom Menace', obviously. Also: `The Shop Around the Corner' (around the corner from WHERE?), `The Empire Strikes Back' (it doesn't), `The Living Daylights', `True Lies', `Batman Forever', `Species', `The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp' ... if anyone has any more suggestions, please send them to me.

In this case, it happens over several nights, and I'm not sure which particular night is being referred to. Probably one of the candidate nights is less unobvious than the rest; so I guess the title isn't COMPLETELY mystifying. But actually, Capra gives us the feeling that everything is up in the air. Everyone knows that the hero and heroine of romantic comedies are bound to get hitched in the end - in most cases it's simply a question of staying awake. But Capra makes us feel the contingency of it all. I, for one, was convinced that right up until the final moment, it could have gone either way. How did Capra manage this? Was it because he was a complete innocent; or was it because he was remarkably sophisticated? I don't suppose it matters: it's results that count.

I'm glad to see very little mention among the comments about the sexism of it all. The characters have life; their words have life; and if such art as this could only be produced by a sexist society, it's almost worth creating a sexist society (and then dismantling it), in order to get the art. In modern romances I get the feeling that the writers are wearily writing `feisty' lines for the heroine in an attempt to fool feminists, who, by and large, aren't so easily fooled. Claudette Colbert isn't feisty. When she DOES assert her independence, she means it.

(And, of course, when Clark Gable asserts his dominance, HE means it. You don't get sincerity like this these days.)

Anyway, the ideology of a film, if there is one, is always beside the point, except inasmuch as the ideology is AESTHETICALLY attractive or unattractive. This is an attractive film. Two real individuals, a real story, some misunderstanding but no tiresome or pointless misunderstanding, constant wit

  • and, as I expressed amazement at earlier, constant suspense. And if THAT


isn't enough to get you to watch it, note that it was released in 1934. The Hayes code didn't come into effect until 1935. Not a moment too late.


40 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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