Sunday, March 8, 2009

It Happened One Night (1934)

Clark Gable was loaned out to 'Poverty Row' studio Columbia as punishment for being difficult. Myrna Loy turned down the lead because she didn't want to be in another movie set on a bus. Lead actress Claudette Colbert called it the worst movie of her career and refused to go to the premiere. Then this low budget picture won Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Actress (Claudette Colbert). The first film ever to win all five big awards. Columbia was Poverty Row no longer.

Colbert runs away from her rich daddy to be with sugar-daddy husband in New York (Daddy is trying to get it annulled), Gable is a fired newspaper reporter looking to get work again. They meet up in a bus station. She (the prodigal Babe-in-the-Woods) is helped getting to New York and he gets his story. They agree to help each other, sorda.

Claudette Colbert was cute as a spoiled heiress, but after seeing Myrna Loy in The Thin Man, I wonder if Loy could have been even better. Remembered as being the first "screwball comedy", I'd classify it as a romantic comedy by today's standards. Friz Freleng is said to have pattern some of Warner Brother's cartoon characters after Gable and others.

Clever, witty, fun, this movie is a treat. I must see it again, and in fact, I did. I returned it late just so that my wife could watch it. She liked it as well. 4 AMRU's.

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