It Happened One Night
It Happened One Night (1934)

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… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 28, 1999
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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

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

TIME Magazine

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.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

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.

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Wendy Ide
Times [UK]

Perhaps not the greatest of the screwball comedies, but Frank Capra's It Happened One Night is one of the racier.

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Variety Staff

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.

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Mordaunt Hall
New York Times

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.

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Eric Melin

Viewed even today with all of its plot elements recycled ad nauseam by Hollywood (for rom-coms, road trip comedies, odd couple/buddy films, etc.), the film still holds up because we believe Gable and Colbert and can identify with them both right away.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

This is Capra at his best, very funny and very light, with a minimum of populist posturing.

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James Berardinelli

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.

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Scott Tobias
The Dissolve

It's nearly impossible to find anyone who doesn't love it. Or doesn't feel, in some way, that it speaks to them.

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More reviews for It Happened One Night

Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Apeneck Fletcher
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… More
Carlos Magalh„es
This charming classic may be the very first screwball comedy in Cinema, a funny, amusing and optimistic film with a deliciously sharp dialogue and wonderful… More
Kevin Cookman
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… More
Albert Kim
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… More
Jim Hunter
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… More
Graham Jones
It Happened One Night is the original romantic comedy, and still the best (and the funniest).