It Happened One Night
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It Happened One Night
Frank Capra's seminal screwball comedy, which won all five major Academy Awards for 1934, is still as breezy and beguiling today. Claudette Colbert plays Ellie Andrews, a spoiled heiress who has married fortune-hunting aviator King Westley (Jameson Thomas), despite her father (Walter Connolly)'s objections. To keep Ellie from marrying this lothario, her father has been holding her prisoner aboard his yacht. But Ellie bolts from the yacht, swims ashore in her clothes, and eventually slips onto a Greyhound bus bound for New York. Aboard the bus is newspaper reporter Peter Warne (Clark… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Instead of attempting a journalistic study of bus-travel, regularly punctuated by comic touches, Director Frank Capra and Robert Riskin who adapted Samuel Hopkins Adams' story, fused the two."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"Capra's sense of humour is a little like that of Preston Sturges, though less caustic; and the film shows its stars at their best, Colbert as one of Hollywood's fresher comediennes, Gable as dumb-but-loveable hunk."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It Happened One Night is one of the easiest movies to love and one of the hardest to think of as a work of art."
‑ Michal Oleszczyk, Movie Mezzanine
"Gable and Colbert have charm to spare, and even though the tropes are well-worn and have been mishandled poorly by every by-the-book chick flick of the last 15 years, it still isn't enough to keep this from working like gangbusters."
‑ Eric Melin,
"A screwball comedy with charm and sass it established a template that countless films have followed down the decades."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"One of those stories that without a particularly strong plot manages to come through in a big way, due to the acting, dialog, situations and direction."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It Happened One Night is a good piece of fiction, which, with all its feverish stunts, is blessed with bright dialogue and a good quota of relatively restrained scenes."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"It's funny, beautifully directed and acted and it's always been one of my favourites."
‑ Margaret Pomeranz, At the Movies (Australia)
"Among the more gratifying phenomena of the current season has been the growing recognition of It Happened One Night, the Frank Capra production of last year, as one of the few potential classics of the recent cinema."
‑ William Troy, The Nation
"It Happened One Night is pure delight."
‑ Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph
"This is Capra at his best, very funny and very light, with a minimum of populist posturing."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Its opposites-attract melding of screwball comedy and the road trip elements has become one of about a half-dozen standard love story formulas. Most years, there's at least one theatrical release that owes a debt to this film."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"As buoyant and elegant as bubbles in a glass of champagne, Frank Capra's sublime 1934 comedy... survives triumphantly because of its wit, charm, romantic idealism and its shrewd sketch of married life."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Still one of the best screwball comedies."
‑ Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
"As classy and charming a romantic comedy as you're ever likely to see..."
‑ Tony Sloman, Radio Times
More reviews for It Happened One Night on Rotten Tomatoes