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

Directed By:
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.

David Jenkins
Time Out

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.

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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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Nathanael Hood
The Young Folks

Frank Capra's It Happened One Night was a film that defied expectations to such an outrageous extent that the cinema has never fully recovered from its impact or influence.

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Kate Cameron
New York Daily News

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.

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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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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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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.

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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More reviews for It Happened One Night

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
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… 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
Kevin M. Williams
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
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
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
Graham Jones
It Happened One Night is the original romantic comedy, and still the best (and the funniest).