Irish Film Institute -IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT



105 minutes| U.S.A.| 1934| Black and White| D-Cinema

Winner in all the main categories of that year’s Hollywood Oscars, this was the surprise hit of 1934. A runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) encounters an unemployed reporter (Clark Gable) on a bus and he agrees to help her in return for an exclusive story. Their initial antagonism, which can range from disagreements over how best to dunk a doughnut or hitch a lift, will eventually turn to love; and the so-called ‘Wall of Jericho’ – a blanket decorously draped between their sleeping berths, and Capra’s droll comment on Production Code morality – will come tumbling down. Drawing on his apprenticeship as gag man for Mack Sennett and director of Harry Langdon’s silent comedies, Capra fills the film with comic business for his splendid leads and surrounds them with an array of minor characters who all spring affectionately to life. An early example of screwball comedy, the film caught the spirit of the time and remains an irresistible entertainment.

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