It Happened One Night - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

It Happened One Night Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 4, 2012
This charming classic may be the very first screwball comedy of Cinema, a funny, amusing and optimistic movie with a deliciously sharp dialogue and wonderful performances from Gable and Colbert, who have a great onscreen chemistry together.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
Frank Capra's road trip from Miami to New York is actually a poem to everyday America and Americans (your unwashed masses) and laced throughout with vignettes of common people simply enjoying life ... practically the blueprint for Hollywood gold. Remember James Cameron's Titanic? Well, here is where he stole the central theme. Gable and Colbert are great as the surrogates for us in this tale, he as the jack-of-all-trades everyman, and she as the princess who finds her Prince Charming is closer than she thinks. It never gets old, the scene in the bedroom still laced with agonizingly palpable tension, even after all these years.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 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.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2013
With the company of a charming newspaperman, a woman flees her father to marry a man whom her father disapproves of.
I've finally found a Frank Capra film that I don't find so saccharine that I found myself rolling my eyes all the way up into my cranium. This is not to say that this film has any great substance. It's a high-energy, madcap farce that has just enough pathos to keep it from becoming Bringing Up Baby and just enough fun to keep Capra from making great pronouncements of life and morality.
I thought that the characters' changes, particularly on the father's part, were too convenient, and Peter's near-abuse of Ellie makes it odd that she would have any great affection for him.
Overall, though the film often defies credulity, it is one of my favorite Capra films, and I'm glad that I can finally like one of his movies.
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2010
A classic movie that's the trumpet that tore down the walls of Jericho for me. "It Happened One Night" has it all: genuine tension, laughs, and character development to make even the most critical movie critic giggle with glee. Pure movie-making magic here. With a very slim narrative but extremely potent character development, "It Happened One Night" is a film that immerses audiences deeply into the relationships. You know that same formula every romantic film runs through? "It Happened One Night" is the definitive film that started it all, and it did so in spectacular fashion.
Super Reviewer
½ November 13, 2011
It Happened One Night is the original romantic comedy, and still the best (and the funniest).
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2011
This film was the first to win the Big Five (picture, actor, actress, director, screenplay) at the Oscars. It's also often lauded as one of the sminal screwball comedies of the 30s.

While I did enjoy this film, I found it to be merely really good instead of outstanding. Maybe the material just didn't seem all that fresh and exciting to me. It is pretty funny and ridiculously charming though. The story concerns a spoiled newly married runaway heiress who meets up with an unemployed newsman and, wouldn't you know it, while traveling together, they fall in love.

That's a rather cheeky synopsis, and there is a bit more to it than that, but essentially, that's the story. It's all done quite well though, and some of the bits (especially the hitchhiking scene) are priceless. The performances are good, and it is Frank Capra, so expect it to be full of charm and heart.

Give this one a look. It's an old fashioned comedy, but there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, watching it in an era of over-the-top gross-out and shock comedies makes for a really nice refreshing treat.
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2010
A classic film! So glad I finally had the opportunity to watch this film. It represents a turning point in Hollywood. This is the first true romcom. Claudette Colbert is fantastic here! I love the motel scene, hilarious!
Super Reviewer
½ September 3, 2010
The first comedy to win an Oscar! If that's not a good enough reason to see this movie, remember that Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are in the movie too, and they're so great together in this movie. This movie is really fun and entertaining.
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2008
The first movie to take home the Oscar blockbuster, it's a beautiful film above love, pride, and the dephs to which we have to go for that one person.
Super Reviewer
½ October 26, 2006
Peter Warne: A simple story about simple people.

Often credited as the first romantic screwball comedy, this is a great film that easily holds up to today. The lead performances are wonderful due to how charmingly smug Gable is and the banter between him and Colbert; the story is simple but it delivers; and its a very funny movie.

Classic comedy premise: A rebellious socialite, Ellie Andrews played by Claudette Colbert, marries King Wesley but her wealthy father has it annulled. Tired of her father's control, Ellie runs away by diving off the family yacht in Miami and heading for New York. On the bus she meets street-smart reporter Peter Warne, played by Clark Gable. They end up traveling together as Peter hopes to get a great story, and Ellie needs his worldly help. Nearing New York, with their many adventures coming to an end, they find that they are reluctantly in love and afraid to admit it to each other.

Peter Warne: I never did like the idea of sitting on newspapers. I did it once, and all the headlines came off on my white pants. On the level! It actually happened. Nobody bought a paper that day. They just followed me around over town and read the news on the seat of my pants.

This movie is just damn entertaining. Nearly everything comes together perfectly. The chemistry is just right, complete with strong, witty dialogue, a fun pace, keeping the film moving from place to place as our heroes trek up to New York, and a solid amount of humor and fun throughout the whole film.

Certainly a strong classic that should be watched by anyone who is a fan of comedies or rom coms and is able to resist the urge of the most of the lame mainstream rom coms coming out today.

Ellie Andrews: Your ego is absolutely colossal.
Peter Warne: Yeah, yeah, not bad, how's yours?
Super Reviewer
May 24, 2009
Not as great as I was expecting. Ah well, I watched for the Hays Act effects.
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2009
"Two great lovers of the screen in the grandest of romantic comedies !"

A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who's actually a reporter looking for a story. But then he falls for her...

Admiration for wonderful subtle acting, for the script, the wonderful cast of supporting characters, It is nearly 75 years since this was made, and apart from the previously mentioned bonuses, there is also true Americana to be found, as in the term for "motel" was "auto camp" and a helicopter was called an "auto gyro". The scene on the bus where "the daring young man on his flying trapeze" is sung has to be a classic. Clark and Claudette glow in this. Even though some of it is quite ahead of its time (sharing the room, the famous undershirt scene which caused undershirt sales to drop 50% in the year it was released) the suggestions of hitting her to keep her in line are appalling today. Roscoe Karns as Shapely gives a winning performance and nearly steals the movie.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2007
deserving of its sweep of the big 5 oscars, this is one of the first and still one of the best great romantic comedies. the hitch-hiking scene was perfect and the acting and screenplay especially stand out. truly great piece of cinematic history.
Super Reviewer
April 23, 2006
"Well, I proved once and for all that the limb is mightier than the thumb."
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2007
I hate romantic comedies with a passion. Or rather I hate what they have become. If you look back to the golden age of Hollywood, it is peppered with gems like this one, in which hard-drinking and cynical reporter Clark Gable ends up shadowing a runaway heiress to get the scoop that'll put his career back on track. And yes, we all know what's going to happen, but in this case it's done with such charm and wit that it's impossible not to like. Frank (It's A Wonderful Life) Capra is a master of presenting an optimism and faith in the common man with a subtlety and sophistication that rarely descends into schmaltz. Claudette Colbert shimmers and is the epitome of 30s glamour, and her chalk and cheese pairing with Gable's gruff machismo works beautifully. The scene in which they share a motel room, sharing their feelings through a dividing blanket is a classic, as Gable's heart finally melts despite his distaste at her over-privileged background. But Capra's optimism even extends to the wealthy, showing her ostentatious father is also just a man whose love for his daughter is his greatest concern. It's a delightful film, and along with the likes of Philadelphia Story and His Girl Friday, it is one of the greats of romantic comedy.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2007
Amazing screwball comedy that works at almost every single level. who could ask for better when Frank Capra is behind the lens & both Colbert and Gable keep charm and laughs all the way through the show.
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2007
pretty good, sweet movie. but i always like old movies are SLIGHTLY overrated.
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2007
I'll stop a car, and I won't use my thumb. Do you ever think: "Hmmm, people throw the words 'icon' and 'iconic' around so much you'd think we couldn't get to the bathroom without bumping into icons left and right." They are waaaaay overused terms; I use them sparingly, like four-letter words, or like the word "cherish." Damn! I absolutely cherish the iconic experience that is this movie. The Colbert-Gable pairing is one of the most iconic pairings in the history of film. You know what, flixsters? Gable is better at comedy than anything else, and icon Claudette Colbert is burned into the cinema heavens for her hitchhiking one-up(wo)manship of Gable. Iconic gams, baby.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2006
Claudette Colbert's famous hitch-hiking (and skirt-hiking) scene is one of the most classic scenes in cinema, but this movie is better than that. The acting is great, the script is great, the direction is great. It's a giddy comedy that stays with you long after you've seen it and makes you want to watch it over and over again.
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