Spoiled Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) escapes from her millionaire father (Walter Connolly), who wnats to stop her from marrying a worthless playboy. En route to New York, Ellie gets involved with an out-of-work newsman, Peter Warne (Clark Gable). When their bus breaks down, the bickering couple set off on a madcap hitchhiking expedition. Peter hopes to parlay the inside story of their misadventures into a job. But complications fly when the runaway heiress and brash reporter fall in love.
Young People in Love are Never Hungry.
- It Happened One Night review by Steve Mason
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You rated this film: 5
Probably the first, and the ultimate screwball comedy, from the heiress leaping over the side of the yacht, to the concluding society wedding.
Ellie Andrew (the incomparable Claudette Colbert) travels the truck stops and cheap guest houses of the United States with a purse containing only a few dollars. She learns to stand in a queue and manage her meagre resources. All to take her back to playboy, King Westley. Reporter, Peter Warne (Clark Gable) will take her there. All he wants is the story...
The set up is pure fairy tale, essentially a commoner romancing a princess. But this film strikes oil because it manages to be both emotionally satisfying, and crazily, fabulously hilarious.
It evokes a detailed sense of time and place, of depression era America, that still feels like the real world 70 years on.
Endlessly imitated, never, ever even nearly equalled.
Screwball Comedy?, a new conversation between critics Molly Haskell and Phillip Lopate
Interview with Frank Capra Jr. from 1999
Frank Capra's American Dream, a 1997 feature-length documentary about the director's life and career
New digital transfer of Capra's first film, the 1921 silent short Fultah Fisher's Boarding Flouse, with a new score composed and performed by Donald Sosin American Film Institute tribute to Capra from 1982
An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme
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