199 of 204 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Wonderful DVD
More than six decades after its original release, "It Happened One Night" still sparkles like a newly minted coin. It's romantic, witty, sophisticated ... and certain key scenes (especially Clark Gable's gangster impression and Claudette Colbert's hitch-hiking lesson) remain laugh-out-loud funny. A near perfect blend of script, direction, and performance,...
Published on January 15, 2000 by J. Michael Click
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ORIGINAL ROAD TRIP HITS A FEW BUMPS IN ITS TRANSFER QUALITY
"It Happened One Night" is the story of Peter Warren (Clark Gable), the happy go lucky newspaper hound who discovers that missing heiress, Ellie McPherson (Claudette Colbert) is actually traveling with him on the cross country night bus. Determined to expose Ellie, Peter finds himself falling for her instead. Director Frank Capra's original road trip movie gives...
Published on April 18, 2003 by Nix Pix
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199 of 204 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Wonderful DVD,
More than six decades after its original release, "It Happened One Night" still sparkles like a newly minted coin. It's romantic, witty, sophisticated ... and certain key scenes (especially Clark Gable's gangster impression and Claudette Colbert's hitch-hiking lesson) remain laugh-out-loud funny. A near perfect blend of script, direction, and performance, it deservedly swept the top five 1934 Academy Awards. One statue that it wasn't even nominated for, and should have won, was for Joseph Walker's Cinematography; his masterful camerawork makes this movie glisten and shine.
The DVD transfer is amazingly beautiful. There are a few shots that appear to be slightly grainy and one or two jumps in the soundtrack, but those are minor quibbles. I've watched this film several times over the past twenty years -- in a revival theatre, on satellite, and on VHS -- and it's never looked as good as it does here. The DVD extras are icing on the cake: trailers for this film and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"; the teaser for "Lost Horizon"; a filmed commentary by Frank Capra, Jr.; and the 1939 Lux Theatre radio broadcast of the story. I especially enjoyed the advertising archive section, which included color reproductions of the original one-sheet posters and lobby cards. Overall, this disc is a great example of the DVD format at its finest, and a most worthy presentation of a genuine Hollywood classic.
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best,
I don't claim be a movie expert, but this is the best film I have ever seen. I already owned a VHS copy, but on buying a DVD player I paid good money to have this disc shipped to me in England - and boy was it worth it! The picture quality is as good as you will find anywhere and the sound is superb too. The DVD is also jam-packed with extra features. The film's commentary is provided by Frank Capra Jr. He has a wonderfully relaxed style and doesn't just sound as if he's reading from a prepared script. Along with Ron Howard's commentary for Apollo 13, this is the best DVD commentary I have heard to date. A special feature unique amongst DVDs must be the radio version of 'It Happened One Night', first broadcast in 1939, again starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. Whoever had the idea of including this on the DVD deserves a salary rise. The disc also includes trailers, cast lists, some beautifully illustrated posters and also a Frank Capra Jr introduction. This really is an extremely impressive package of Frank Capra's masterpiece.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Comedy,
More than any movie from the 1930s, this Frank Capra film has not dated at all. In spite of 60 plus years of "romantic comedies" which have followed "It Happened One Night," it remains fresh and laugh-out-loud funny. Clark Gable is at his most charming as the scheming newspaper reporter who hopes to get the inside scoop on the "brat," played beautifully by Claudette Colbert, who is on the run from her millionaire father. This Frank Capra films still makes us laugh because he so humorously shows us that while men and women are different, for some reason they can't live without one another even though they can, as here, drive each other crazy. The hitchhiking scene and the scene where Gable and Colbert pretend they are married are timeless classics. Columbia Classics has done a wonderful job of presenting the best print we can probably expect 60 years on. The disc also contains a commentary from Capra's son, Frank Capra, Jr. and a "remembrance" of the film. I cannot recommend this movie enough.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, sexy & not a single dull moment ...,
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IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT is a picture with a fascinating cinematic history (no one except Frank Capra wanted to make it, Gable & Colbert included, and no one thought it would hit or win Oscars, any Oscars -- until it did). It's also one of the few films I've ever seen that is literally without a single dull moment in it --surely a rarity, even in the most expensive films (and this one cost all of $375,000 to make in 1934).
The spoiled runaway heiress who finds true love with the down-to-earth newspaper reporter isn't the most original idea in movies -- but what Capra, Riskin (the writer), Gable & Colbert do with it is beyond priceless. Among other highlights in this thoroughly delightful film are the scene where Gable singlehandedly destroyed the men's undershirt industry by revealing a bare chest while undressing; Gable's argument with a bus driver; the scene already mentioned by other reviewers of Colbert's unique method of stopping a car after Gable, who claims to be a hitchhiking expert, has failed miserably; the breakfast scene in which Gable teaches Colbert how to dunk a doughnut properly; the falling-over funny scene of Gable & Colbert impersonating a brawling married couple to outwit her father's detectives; and the scene where he lectures her about piggyback riding and the virtues of the common man while carrying her across a stream. (But I must confess my favorite scene is probably Gable's argument with Colbert's father at the end of the film. When her father finally nails him down and says, "Do you love her?", Gable, after evading the question, finally answers, "Yes! But don't hold that against me, I'm a little screwy myself!")
Gable's performance here is simply his very best after GONE WITH THE WIND. There couldn't have been any close contenders for the Best-Actor Oscar that year; Gable simply walks off with the movie, in rollicking fashion, and it is abundantly clear while watching him exactly why women found him the Sexiest Man Alive (at that time, and for many years afterward). Even seventy years later, and more than 40 years after his death, he's still a heartbreaker here. He's funny and playful and tender and strong ... whew! It's a tragedy that current generations know so little about him and his remarkable career -- but they will get more than their fill of his very potent charm in this picture.
Colbert plays a fairly thankless part with great elegance and sophistication. While acting spoiled and bored and rebellious, she's also charming, funny and perfectly unimpressed with Gable's antics -- right up to the moment when she realizes she's in love with him.
All the supporting players (all studio actors) are wonderful, too, even in this essentially two-person movie. The guy playing Oscar Shapeley, the conceited suburban bore, was a Best Supporting Actor shoo-in -- wonder why HE didn't win that year, too? And the roles of Colbert's father and Gable's editor were beautifully filled. No one phoned in their work on this movie; every performance and nuance is a gem.
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, after seventy years, is as fresh and funny as though it were made yesterday -- my nine-year-old and six-year-old sons both adore it, too.
Classic doesn't always mean boring. Sometimes -- as in this case -- classic means timeless. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT will be funny in this century and the next century and every century where men and women meet and fall in love.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still as enchanting as ever,
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT is still regarded as one of the best comedies ever made, thanks to the superb performances of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable and the faultless direction of Frank Capra.
Based on the short story "Night Bus" by Samuel Hopkins Adams, the story concerns spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) escapes her millionaire father (Walter Connolly) to wants to stop her from marrying a worthless playboy. En route to New York, Ellie gets involved with an out-of-work newspaper reporter, Peter Warne (Clark Gable). When their night bus breaks down, the bickering couple set off on a hilarious hitchiking expedition.
Peter hopes to turn the inside story of their misadventures into a job. But complications fly when the runaway heiress and brash reporter fall in love.
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT scooped all five major catergories at the 1934 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Actress (Claudette Colbert), Best Screenplay (Robert Riskin) and Best Director (Frank Capra).
The DVD includes the trailer, rare radio material, picture/promo gallery and a featurette.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh What A Night Indeed!,
This review is from: It Happened One Night [VHS] (VHS Tape)
When you hear the phrase uttered "they don't make'em like they used to," films like It Happened One Night come immediately to mind. This 1934 classic has it all: great writing, direction, stars, character actors, cinematography, you name it. If Clark Gable hadn't made Gone With The Wind five years later, this may have been the performance he'd be most remembered by. As down-on-his-luck newspaperman Peter Warren, Gable is at his best. As the spoiled, rich heiress Ellie Andrews, Claudette Colbert is his equal. Her character is tough, yet vulnerable, spoiled, but lovable, sexy and innocent, and incredibly appealing. Filled with classics scenes that are laugh-out-loud funny, this film is balanced by many poignant (Capraesque) scenes as well. The dialogue, direction, and pacing are first-rate (there's never a dull moment), and the chemistry between the two leads is wonderful. Both Gable and Colbert appear to be having the time of their lives. The most famous scene is probably where Colbert stops a car with her beautiful legs when Gable's thumb doesn't get the job done, but there are many more to savor. When Gable and Colbert pretend to be a feuding married couple, it's hard to keep a straight face and admire the ease at which they pull off this ruse. Other memorable scenes include Alan Hale singing "young people in love are very seldom hungry," Colbert's fiancee arriving at the wedding in the "Autogyro," and Gable pretending to be a gangster to scare away an amorous traveling salesman (trying to snag Colbert). And who can forget the Walls of Jericho? But my favorite has to be the bus ride sing-a-long where everyone joins in to sing "The Man on the Flying Trapeze"; it's an absolute gem. There isn't enough to say about this wonderful picture. After almost 70 years, It Happened One Night is as fresh as ever. Of all the screwball comedies to come out of Hollywood in the 1930s, this one is in a league of its own. And how many of today's movies have women's roles the equal of Colbert's? She is more than set decoration; she's an essential part of the film. Without her cool, sophisticated performance, Gable's everyman would seem less than it is. A film that truly deserved every Academy Award it received, It Happened One Night is a movie that will live on forever.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WINNER - 1934 Picture of the Year "THE TOP 5 OSCARS" !!!!,
"It Happen One Night" won the top 5 Oscars of 1934. Best Picture, Best Director - Frank Capra, Best Actor - Clark Gable, Best Actress - Claudette Colbert & Screen Play. This is one of the best "screwball comedies" ever. (Screwball (Black) comedy was a type of comedy introduced during the Depression years (1930's) depicting strange scenarios, characters with twists and bazaar (screwball) plots).
In summary; Rich, spoiled,runaway heiress Ellie (Colbert) & a newspaper reporter, Peter (Gable) have a chance meeting on a bus & end up together on a crazy romantic journey. They are totally mismatched and in an adversarial relationship. Their trek takes them through the Depression countryside of America where Ellie gets a strong dose of reality. As events unfurl & situations occur they become involved & the rest is cinematic history.
This DVD is one of the best ever. The picture & sound quality rival being at the original showing. Probally because it is digitalized better!!!. The extras, including a radio broadcast show with Gable and Colbert & one of the best movie commentaries by Frank Capra Jr. (Frank Sr's, son)are added treats to enjoy. A great value DVD.
This is a great way to enjoy the Hollywood of the 30's and the stellar cast performing perfectly.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Screwball Comedy, Now At An Affordable Price!,
This review is from: It Happened One Night (DVD)
I had only ever seen "It Happened One Night" once before, and that was about 20 years ago, in film class at junior college. But I totally loved it. "It Happened One Night" is an immortal film classic because *everything* about this 1934 screwball comedy (about a beautiful heiress on the run, and the handsome reporter who follows her) works perfectly: the wonderful lead performances of Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert (whose chemistry and comic sensibilitites are a joy to watch), great performances too from the whole supporting cast (no matter how small the roles), Frank Capra's very-assured direction, and Robert Riskin's hilarious, clever script. So many classic, crowd-pleasing moments throughout this film: the "Walls Of Jericho", the "hitchhiking" scene, the sing-along on the bus, Gable instructing Colbert on how to dunk a donut, Gable wading across the water with Colbert on his back (then spanking her!), the scene in the hay, and so many more. And the fact that "It Happened One Night" was shot in just four weeks flat....that's quite an accomplishment. "It Happened One Night" proved to be a box-office smash, and it swept all the top Oscar categories in 1935, and deservedly so: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay (a feat that would not be matched for 40 years until "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" came along in 1975). I had always wanted to buy "It Happened One Night," but the film had never been at an affordable price for me before, not even when it was originally out on videocassette---it was usually $24.99 or higher. But now with this 2008 DVD re-release, "It Happened One Night" is finally available at a VERY affordable price---and I have finally bought it at last! Nice extras on the DVD too, including commentary and insights from Frank Capra Jr. But the bonus feature I appreciate the most is the 1939 *radio play* broadcast of "It Happened One Night," in which Gable and Colbert happily returned to their roles of Peter and Ellie. Adapted for radio, certain modifications were made to the script, and the story was trimmed down to just under an hour, but it's still great fun, and it's wonderful to hear Gable & Colbert whooping it up as this classic comedy couple once more. Reportedly, Colbert, displeased with the original film script, wasn't happy with the film at the time that she made it, thinking that "It Happened One Night" was the worst film she had ever done, and would regularly complain on-set on a daily basis. It was only when the film was finally released, became adored by audiences all over, and they put that Best Actress Oscar in Colbert's hand, that she finally realised how wrong she had been. "It Happened One Night" is truly one of the great comedy classics of cinema history, a genuine crowd-pleaser that anyone can enjoy. EVERY home should have a copy of "It Happened One Night," and now, with this new low-priced DVD, every home can. So buy it, and watch those Walls Of Jericho topple!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Great After Nearly Seventy Years,
This review is from: It Happened One Night [VHS] (VHS Tape)
It Happened One Night has aged very well, and it remains as funny and sexy as when it first premiered in 1934. Claudette Colbert stars as an heiress on the run, trying to get away from her controlling father who does not approve of the man she has quickly married. While on a bus to New York to return to her new husband, she becomes entangled with news reporter Clark Gable, a man who feels only contempt for her (at first), but who won't pass up a good story. Colbert and especially Gable are in top form, displaying a terrific chemistry in Frank Capra's comedy. The scenes I enjoyed are the same as everyone else - the walls of Jericho and Colbert's method for hitch-hiking. But my favourite scene is in the cabin when they pretend to be a bickering married couple to throw off investigators looking for her. Their "improv" is hysterical. I can't believe that after almost seventy years, this film has not dated. Give credit to Capra, writer Robert Riskin, and of course, the star combination. Watch this video when you get a chance!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean Sweep,
Consider this, "It Happened One Night" was made in 1933 which gives it the distinction 70+ years later of being the oldest film still widely viewed by mainstream audiences. And most of the runner-ups for oldest film are 1930's screwball comedies inspired by the success of this seminal film which made a clean sweep of the 1934 Academy Awards. The genre has held up over the years because these are small human stories with themes that are still relevant.
The main reason "It Happened One Night" worked then and still works today is the accidental pairing of Colbert and Gable, who provide an amazing chemistry under Frank Capra's direction. Columbia Pictures was a small player in the early days of talking pictures and studio head Harry Cohn had difficulty rounding up two major stars to play the leads in this modest budget production. Colbert was not interested in doing another Capra film after a negative experience working for him six years earlier in her silent picture debut. Cohn told Capra: "That French broad likes money" and Capra finally got her on board with an offer of $50,000 (double her usual price) and a guarantee that production would only last 28 days. Gable was under contract to MGM but had been making trouble for them so as punishment Louis B. Mayer personally loaned him to Columbia for this film.
The film had a lot else going for it; a motivated Capra, a great script that would play well with small town America, and a good ensemble of supporting talent. The story concerns a spoiled young heiress (Colbert) trying to escape the control of her father (nicely played by Walter Connelly). Dodging her father's private detectives she takes a Miami to New York bus where she meets a recently fired reporter (Gable) who agrees to help her in exchange for an exclusive story. Cozy quarters and many adventures lead them to change their initial opinions of each other (brainless brat and obnoxious bully) as an undisclosed affection develops. On the eve of their arrival in New York they try to sort out their feelings for each other.
While the script is not really successful in convincingly illustrating the process of their falling in love (one minute they are just friends and the next they are in love), Capra is able to sell it with a simple connection process between these two characters which is at work throughout the film. As another reviewer has written: "Far from lovey-dovey, the dialogue is witty, sharp and occasionally heartless. We may know the outcome, but the road to get there is paved with arguments, anger and misunderstandings. It's also clever, funny and a bit risqué (for 1934)" . During their three days and nights together Colbert convincingly gives us a character who matures from a spoiled rich girl to a responsible adult, motivated by a desire to improve her companion's opinion of her. Gable shows real star presence, playing a confident, charming, and resourceful gentleman. By the end their sudden love is credible because they have demonstrated that they are both exactly what the other is looking for in a partner.
After the Oscar ceremony Capra threw a party where he downed a magnum of champagne and passed out on his front lawn clutching his Best Director Oscar.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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It Happened One Night by Clark Gable (DVD - 2008)