Frank Capra’s: It Happened One Night (1934)


Clark Gable (left) with Claudette Colbert (right) in, It Happened One Night (1934).

Now, I gotta tell ya. I did not think that I would ever add a category solely dedicated to Capra, the Great & Powerful. He deserves the best though, yes, he does indeed.

So I felt that I would talk about the one movie that I actually believe to have been the initiator in me having fallen in love with Classic Film. Yes, of course Swing Time (1936) was the start of me watching Classic Film, but It Happened One Night (1934) gave me that thrust into having an unlimited craving to want to see Classic Film.

I believe that I was roaming through Netflix at one point, and I saw this man with a mustache and a woman who looked like she was from ‘one of those Silent Films’ (and yes reader, this is how I used to define Classic Film. What a disgrace!). So I decided to check it out.

Since I had just gotten into Classic Film, and I didn’t recognize that Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert were absolute icons of that time, I told almost everyone I knew (that ‘everyone,’ being my mom)! I told my mother how I enjoyed it so, and I didn’t really care for titles than, so I just told her to watch the movie too! Of Course, she knew the movie. She knew the Actors. She knew the Director. I knew nothing. Nada!

All of this to say… I began my quest to give recognition to the Actors, Actresses & Directors who created history in Hollywood. This movie really gave me that sudden grasp on how great things were back in the day, and how we’ve fallen so low since then! I mean… come on people, G.I. Joe doesn’t deserve a sequel and Jack & the Giant Slayer? Isn’t that supposed to be Jack and the Bean Stock or something?

Too low… we’ve fallen too low. But! Thank God for Classic Film. You can always refer back to a Classic like, The Man Who Laughs, When Ladies Meet, Old Acquaintance, etc. They feed such a great energy! I love my Classic Film. Love, love it!

 So, just so you are all aware. I am going through each and every Classic Film from the top of my list. There’s no bottom by the way. OK, so lets move forward. I want to share my love of this film to people who have and have not seen it.

Now, I truly can say that this movie had changed my life. Not the way Jesus has, but both go hand in hand.

This was actually the first movie I saw both Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in. I hadn’t even seen Gone With the Wind at the time. In fact, I still haven’t. Regardless, everyone; and I mean, everyone knows Gone With the Wind. It’s one of those Classics that a non-Classic Movie Fan can say they’ve heard of or seen. Which is why, when I watched this movie, I knew that I recognized the handsome mustached man from somewhere?

Nonetheless, whether recognized or not. Clark Gable was great. I loved that he didn’t give a care as to how he acted. He also would do whatever the heck he wanted! He actually reminded me of a similar character from Platinum Blonde (1931). Robert Williams.

You know how back in the day, most news reporters were way out there and they did whatever they could in order to get a good story… Wait, that hasn’t changed has it? Ah well, you get what I mean!

Robert Williams portrayed the same kind of Character that Gable had in Capra’s previous film, Platinum Blonde. Regardless, I feel that (since I support Gable a bit more), he had really done a great job of having been an engaged news reporter with a duty.

And Claudette Colbert. I had never seen anyone the way she was, since I had seen Ginger Rogers on film.

She owned the screen.

I loved her sass and Witt. She would find it humorous that Clark Gable had put himself on such a high pedestal. And she was so mature with her actions toward him, made Clarky look, almost unattractively immature.

Don’t get me wrong though! I love me some Clark Gable. But, I’m only talking about his character. Not HIIIM.


My ultimate favorite scene is when Colbert shows Gable some Hitchhiking lessons. Without her ‘thumb.’ ha, ha. I’m sure you all know what scene I’m talking about. It’s the one scene that had me crying on the floor. It was outrageously funny! Check it out:

I love this movie, also because, I love the Director. I’ve seen all the great Capra Films.

Lady for a Day (1933), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can’t Take it With You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Meet John Doe (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) and State of the Union (1948).

I didn’t say all his films, only all his great Films. Not everything is a hit, ya know?

Regardless, I have a great Respect for Frank Capra. And you know what’s funny? I had always pictured this man as a cute old man with white hair, a skinny body and a hunched back. But, my predictions were entirely off. He was a pretty young fella! I had no idea.

And although this movie happens to be my main topic at hand, I cannot say it’s my favorite Capra film. Can you take a guess as to which one may be my favorite? Leave a comment below.

For those, who also have not seen this movie, or have not seen any other Frank Capra film. Watch them. This director knew what he was doing when he filmed a movie, and he knew what stories would easily quench the hearts of people.

One movie I have to say that I did not entirely enjoy or agree with, was Lady for a Day (1933). But, that will be explained soon in an upcoming post.

Alright, everyone. I’m going to conclude this post! Come back and check for more. My next post will be on my favorite Capra film. It also has one of my favorite actresses in it! Ms. Jean Arthur. Can you guess which film is my favorite now? I narrowed it down a lot… Although! Who cares about me! What’s your favorite Frank Capra film? Leave a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by!