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It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 22 February 1934 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Robert Riskin (screen play), Samuel Hopkins Adams (based on the short story by)
Top Rated Movies #189 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Peter
Claudette Colbert ... Ellie
Walter Connolly ... Andrews
Roscoe Karns ... Shapeley
Jameson Thomas ... Westley
Alan Hale ... 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

Taglines:

Hunger strike, eh? How long has this been going on? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Bus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$325,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,360,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Peter Warne is being held up by an SP Train, the location was on Santa Anita Avenue in Arcadia, CA, just north of Huntington Drive. The tracks where Warne is stopped were part of the SP Day and Night Spur. The tracks and crossing signs seen in the background were the Pacific Electric. Another block north and out of sight were the Santa Fe tracks. Santa Anita was called Double Drive at the time, and the normal southbound lanes are just visible to the left, but the convoy carrying Ellie, Andrews and Westley pass Warne in the northbound lane headed south. The trees in the center median, which was an equestrian path, were cut down in the 1950s. See more »

Goofs

When Peter is held up by the train at a crossing, the caboose is plainly marked SP (Southern Pacific). But he is supposed to be in New Jersey. Although there might be SP box cars in New Jersey, there would not be an SP caboose. See more »

Quotes

Ellie Andrews: Aren't you gonna congratulate me?
Peter Warne: What for?
Ellie Andrews: Well, I proved once and for all that the limb is mightier than the thumb.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Bottle Shock (2008) 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

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User Reviews

 
A cute romantic comedy that was a pioneer of its genre
11 December 2003 | by FilmOtakuSee all my reviews

It Happened One Night is one of those films that is so classic, and on so many `must-see' lists that I actually assumed that I had seen it at one time or another. It wasn't until I actually looked into the film when I in fact realized I hadn't.

The first film to sweep the major categories in an Oscar ceremony, It Happened One Night spins the story of a young spoiled heiress (Colbert) who marries a shallow, yet dashing aviator. She is then swept off by her father who takes her on a cruise; convinced that time away from each other will cure her infatuation. Instead, she escapes by jumping out of the boat and swimming to shore where she begins her journey from Miami to New York, where her husband awaits. The film quickly turns into an `on the road' flick at this point when she meets up with Clark Gable, a down on his luck reporter who offers to help her for the exclusive rights to her story. Mayhem inevitably ensues as one thing after another goes wrong during their adventure.

I'm a little hesitant to completely agree with the general assessment that It Happened One Night is a screwball comedy. Of course, there were certain moments that were hilarious and overdone (the scene when Gable and Colbert pose as husband and wife to share a cabin for the night is absolutely rich) but the majority of the remaining film is clever romantic comedy with fairly even performances by the principles. Perhaps there is a sliding scale for screwball comedies, with It Happened One Night being a two and a film that I feel personifies the genre, Bringing up Baby, as a five.

Whatever its classification, It Happened One Night is a charming film that backs up its merit as a multiple Oscar winner. It is one of those films that may not be completely profound or deep, but is important nonetheless if anything, for its place in film history.

--Shelly


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