AFI #46: It Happened One Night

I’m going to skip watching It Happened One Night for this exercise because truth be known I have already seen it twice in the past few months. I originally rented it because I had always wanted to see the first film that took home Academy Awards for all five major categories — Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Director. It did not disappoint and a few months later I watched it again when I ran across it on cable.

Its films like this that remind me that just because a film is old does not mean it’s not contemporary. It Happened One Night came out in 1935 but the writing is witty and modern — it must have been something special in 1935! I love this film, especially the work by Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. Gable won his only Oscar for his role as newspaper reporter Peter Warne, who stumbles upon a great story and ends up finding love. Colbert is the sharp-witted heiress who he finds running away from her father. The on-screen chemistry between the pair is magnificent and the dialogue is ahead of its time.

You could easily argue that It Happened One Night is the forefather of the modern-day romantic comedy. It has everything you like in a RomCom including the sexual tension, something that must have been unique in the 1930s. It’s a great film and I recommend it to anyone who likes romantic comedies (I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good one!)

Next Up: Shane