Rent It Happened One Night (1934)

3.9 of 5 from 224 ratings
1h 41min
Rent It Happened One Night (aka Night Bus) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
When her father threatens to annul her marriage to a fortune-hunting playboy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) hops on a cross-country bus to New York, where she plans to live happily ever after with her handsome new hubby. Romantic complications however, when she's befriended by fellow passenger Peter Warne (Clark Gable), a brash and breezy reporter who offers his help in exchange for her exclusive story.
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Frank Capra
Robert Riskin, Samuel Hopkins Adams
Night Bus
Classics, Comedy, Romance

1935 Oscar Best Director

1935 Oscar Best Actor

1935 Oscar Best Actress

1935 Oscar Best Writing Adaptation

1935 Oscar Best Picture

Release Date:
Run Time:
101 minutes
English Dolby Digital 1.0, French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 1.0, Italian Dolby Digital 1.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0
Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
  • Frank Capra, Jr. Remembers...'It Happened One Night'
  • Original Live Radio Broadcast
Release Date:
Run Time:
105 minutes
English LPCM Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • 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
  • Trailer
  • An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

More like It Happened One Night

Reviews (1) of It Happened One Night

Screwball Prototype. - It Happened One Night review by Steve

Spoiler Alert
Updated 08/03/2021

For me, the first, best and most archetypal screwball comedy. This film defines the style, from the heiress (Ellie Andrews played by the incomparable Claudette Colbert) jumping over the side of a yacht into the sea at Miami in the opening scene, to the conclusion as she escapes from her society wedding to playboy waster King Westley into the waiting car of the man she really loves, a working stiff (Clark Gable as news reporter Peter Warne).

This story is also about the depression. Cut loose from her privileges, Ms. Andrews must travel across America and learn to live on an insufficient budget. Warne loses his job at the outset and has to experience the indignity of not being able to provide for the woman he grows to love. They witness the nation's poverty in their journey across country on a bus. Colbert eventually imitates a working woman in one touching and very funny scene.

 Over the next decade, Capra's vision of America would become increasingly pessimistic. But It Happened One Night, despite its undertow of real sadness, is a sweet, uplifting experience. It is one of the funniest films ever made, with Alan Hale as a singing motorist particularly uproarious among a brilliant supporting cast. But it's all about Colbert and Gable. There is romantic chemistry there and we care about them. The beautiful photography bestows on them a kind of magic.

Strange that the two stars wrapped thinking it was a disaster. An opinion they revised when it won both of them Oscars, as well as for best film, director, and Robert Riskin for his once in a lifetime screenplay. This is a classic story of romance, which has been endlessly copied, that will speak to people for as long as they go on falling in love. 

3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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