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Capturing its stars and director at their finest, It Happened One Night remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In Frank Capra's acclaimed romantic comedy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) impetuously marries the scheming King Westley, leading her tycoon father (Walter Connolly) to spirit her away on his yacht. After jumping ship, Ellie falls in with cynical newspaper reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable), who offers to help her reunite with her new husband in exchange for an exclusive story. But during their travels, the reporter finds himself falling for the feisty young heiress.

Cast & Crew

Clark Gable
Peter Warne
Walter Connolly
Alexander Andrews
Roscoe Karns
Oscar Shapeley
Ward Bond
Bus driver #1 (uncredited)
Frank Capra
Executive Producer
Howard Jackson
Executive Producer
Harry Cohn
Executive Producer
Harry Cohn
Producer
Howard Jackson
Original Music
Louis Silvers
Original Music
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News & Interviews for It Happened One Night

Critic Reviews for It Happened One Night

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (1)

  • It Is pleasant to travel across the United States with these two bickering vagabonds.

    January 25, 2020 | Full Review…
  • It's all about the snappy dialogue and simmering tension between these hugely charismatic stars.

    September 5, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A charming, human, believable story, with charming, human, believable characters.

    February 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It's probably more historically important than it is a masterpiece (the last 20 minutes take the missed conections and misunderstandings an inch too far), but it's still very easy to fall in love with.

    February 22, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The direction is excellent. Frank Capra never lets his picture lag for a moment. It is never very exciting, but it moves along snappily and it is full of amusing situations.

    February 17, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Perhaps not the greatest of the screwball comedies, but Frank Capra's It Happened One Night is one of the racier.

    December 10, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for It Happened One Night

  • Mar 31, 2016
    Clark Gable dials up the 1934 beefcake with his shirt off in one seen, and Colbert famously stops a car while hitchhiking by revealing her leg, but the movie is quite innocuous, and is better known for essentially being the blueprint for romantic comedies to this day. Colbert is a spoiled, rich heiress who runs away from her family (actually starting this by jumping off a yacht and swimming away from them). Gable is a newspaper reporter who's been fired. They find each other on a crowded train, and are forced to sit together. They hate one another at first, but after spending time on a couple of busses, a car, in the haystack together, and in a hotel room divided by a clothesline with a blanket hanging over it ... well, you get the idea. At one point he carries her across a stream caveman style, over his shoulder, and gives her a swat on the behind as they debate what constitutes a piggyback ride. They confuse each other's motivations and split at the end, Colbert off to wed another (and in a very pretty dress), but we all know where it's heading, and this one is complete with a 'runaway bride' scene. I don't know if the movie was worthy of sweeping the Academy Awards (and Colbert herself didn't think much of it), but it's still sharp with its dialog, and quite entertaining. Aside from the main story line, it has a nice 'Capra' touch in having everyone on a bus (including the driver) singing verses of 'The Man on the Flying Trapeze' to pass the time. I also smiled over this interchange after Gable's character had tossed some newspapers off the bus to make space for his seat: Bus driver: "Oh, fresh guy, huh? What you need is a good sock in the nose." Clark Gable: "Listen pardner, you might like my nose, but I do. I always wear it out in the open, where if anyone wants to take a sock at it, they can do it." "Oh, yeah?" "Now that's a brilliant answer. Why didn't I think of it? Our conversation could have been over long ago." "Oh, yeah?" "You keep that up, we're not going to get anywhere." "Oh, yeah?" "Ya got me. Yeah!" (to chuckling from the other passengers)
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2014
    Yes, the plot is hugely influential, but its the details, like the minor digressions, odd little comedic bits, and the electric chemistry of Gable and Colbert, that make the whole film hold up so well.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 04, 2013
    Gable, who I don't tend to like, is wonderfully charming with Colbert as two characters thrown together for a road trip for the ages. Capra brings us a sentimental masterpiece once again.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 02, 2013
    Colbert and Gable hated making it and it ended up being one of Hitler's favorite films, but Capra's perfectly scripted romantic comedy has a stamp of glorious old-Hollywood quality.
    Kevin C Super Reviewer

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