Monday, December 08, 2014

It Happened One Night (1934)

One of the first and best-loved "screwball comedies," Frank Capra's 1934 classic It Happened One Night features a reference to Wilkes-Barre.

Opposites attract with magnetic force in this romantic road-trip delight from Frank Capra, about a spoiled runaway socialite (Claudette Colbert) and a roguish man-of-the-people reporter (Clark Gable) who is determined to get the scoop on her scandalous disappearance.

Released in February 1934 (a mere four months before the Production Code was fully enforced), It Happens One Night was the first of only 3 motion pictures to win "big 5" at the Academy Awards (the other 2 being 1975's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and 1991's The Silence of the Lambs):  Best Picture, Best Actor (Clark Cable), Best Actress (Claudette Colbert), Best Director (Frank Capra) and Best Screenplay (Robert Riskin).

39:25 minutes into the movie, Peter (Clark Gable) and Ellie (Claudette Colbert) are staying overnight at an autolodge, due to a washed-out bridge on their bus trip.   When her father's spies approach their shared room, Peter and Ellie pretend to be a married couple in the midst of an argument:

"Yeah, yeah.  I, uh...I got a letter from Aunt Bella last week.  Uh...she said if we don't stop over to Wilkes-Barre, she'll never forgive us."

It Happened One Night is available to borrow on DVD from the Lackawanna County Library System.  You may place a hold by clicking here or clicking here.