Saturday, February 19, 2011

#311: It Happened One Night

Directed by: FRANK CAPRA
1934, TSPDT Rank #197

Before Frank Capra was making heavy-handed "issue" films like Meet John Doe and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, he made a fantastic screwball comedy that was one of only three so far to win all five major Academy Awards (Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Screenplay - the other two that have won are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Silence of the Lambs). And as much contempt as I frankly do have for the Oscars, they sure knew what they were doing with these three films. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are incredible in their parts, with glorious chemistry, and so much great dialogue. The supporting roles only enrich the movie's appeal, and I would say in general this is the most enjoyable screwball film I've seen to date. But I did find the plot element of Colbert "running away from home" at 21, and having the nation working to hunt her down to be pretty ridiculous and weak. Overall though, great film.

"The wall of Jericho is tumbling!"

(Rating: 9/10)

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