It Happened One Night


Movie: It Happened One Night

Release Date: February 22, 1934

Director: Frank Capra

Starring: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert

Personal History: Watched Once Before

Rating: 7.5 Oscars out of 10

‘It Happened One Night’ is the first film in my Academy Award Best Picture Movie Challenge that I have actually seen before. The first six winners of the Best Picture (or Outstanding Production or Outstanding Motion Picture or whatever it was called back then) were all first time viewings. Some of those I loved, some not so much. You can check out the on-going ranking here. But with this film, I knew what to expect and because of that I knew it was a movie I would be very fond of.

‘It Happened One Night’ is the first movie to win the “top five” awards at the Academy Award ceremony that year – Outstanding Production, Best Director, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Actor and Best Actress. It is one of only three films in the history of the Oscars to do so. Obviously the other two will be popping up on this blog before March 12, 2023.

I first watched this movie when I received it as a gift from my husband. I don’t know exactly when that happened but it happened one night (ba-dum-bum. Thank you, I ‘m here all night).

If you followed my 365 Movie Day Challenge you know that I own all of the Best Picture winners on home media mostly in huge thanks to my husband who took it upon himself to complete my collection. At one point I was buying all of the Best Picture nominees on either DVD or Blu-Ray but then (probably for monetary reasons) switched it to just the Best Picture winner. Before my husband my 1995 through current day was complete. Before 1995, not so much. So every Christmas or birthday since we met he would shower with me with four or five of the movies. Now, I’m happy to say, I own them all.

Like I said, I don’t know exactly when I watched ‘It Happened One Night’ that first time, but I would guess it was around the last five years either in December or March. And that first time I watched it by myself, I was thoroughly entertained. This time around I watched it with my husband. As you may know if you have read any of my blog, he adds a whole new level to the movie watching experience.

His commentary, ad libs and outbursts (I don’t call him Annie Wilkes for nothing), are common as he glides in and out of a room while the movie is playing. The man rarely sits still and has a short attention span so the only time I have ever seen him stay seated and quiet through an entire movie is at the theater. Even then he gets in a few whispered comments or trips to the bathroom. This time through “It Happened One Night” was one of the rare occasions that he remained mostly still and quiet, which probably had something to do with watching it in bed before falling off to sleep.

The movie was as witty, clever and fun as I remembered it being and it made me laugh out loud many times. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are the perfect mismatched pair on film and the chemistry between the two of them is thrilling to watch. Watching it again, you can see how this film has inspired so many other romantic comedies that followed, even up to today. It is the prefect formula of love, laughs and heart.

‘It Happened One Night’ is an enjoyable movie and whether it may or may not have been the first Rom-Com, it is definitely worth the watch for anyone that loves the genre.


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