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It Should Happen to You

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Can an aspiring model find happiness on a billboard?! That's what Gladys Glover (Judy Holiday) finds out in this delightful romantic comedy. Unable to find steady work as a model, Gladys devises aningenious gimmick: she uses all of her savings to rent a large billboard overlooking New York City's Columbus Circle featuring her picture and name. As it turns out, that billboard is in high demand- Evan Adams III's (Peter Lawford) company wants it for himself. With interest in more than just her career, Adams strikes a deal with Gladys whereby she acquires additional billboard locations. Under the guidance of a slick promoter (Michael O'Shea), Gladys becomes a national celebrity. Then she realizes she must decide between her boyfriend (Jack Lemmon) and this exciting new life.

All Gladys Glover wants is to make a name for herself in New York--which explains the giant billboard with her name plastered across it. Celebrity, of course, follows. It Should Happen to You proves that the concept of "being famous for being famous" did not arrive with Angelyne or Paris Hilton. This comedy was designed for the dumb-blonde talents of the expert Judy Holliday, re-uniting with Born Yesterday writer Garson Kanin and director George Cukor. She's in prime form, and some of her scenes with Jack Lemmon (his film debut) have a spritzy give-and-take. (Alas, his character, a documentary filmmaker, is a bit of a nag.) The media satire is a little dated, from a 21st-century perspective, and a subplot with soap magnate Peter Lawford doesn't wash. The pleasures are in Cukor's airy Manhattan location shots and Holliday's offbeat line readings, her lasting gift from a brief career. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Judy Holliday, Peter Lawford, Jack Lemmon, Michael O'Shea
  • Directors: George Cukor
  • Producers: Fred Kohlmar
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000VCZL6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,309 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "It Should Happen to You" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Allen Smalling TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 16, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Would that I could give this enticing and sadly neglected film a "6" just to encourage people to experience it. "It Should Happen to You" has it all: wit, a sizzling star (Judy Holliday), a fast-paced, slightly dizzy plot, a great director...and a chance to see Jack Lemmon very early in his screen career.
It's Manhattan in 1954 and Judy Holliday plays Gladys Glover, a lower-middle-class career girl who's been hunting a decent job for ever so long until she decides she might as well blow her emergency budget and take a chance on a one-shot approach. Soon a gigantic billboard appears above Manhattan's Columbus Circle: "Gladys Glover" is all it says. In a typical Holliday movie role, much like "Born Yesterday," Our Gal Gladys has street smarts and common sense, plus great intuition and a refusal to be cowed by the conventional "We've never done it that way before" approach. Early on she's established as a handsome heroine if not the most erudite thing in the world.
So after the first billboard causes a stir, our Gladys negotiates cut rates for more gigantic attention-grabbing placards strategically placed in the busiest parts of Manhattan. Clever as a fox, that one, and as in most of her movie parts, Holliday plays this one full-out; it's impossible to take one's eyes off her when she's on-screen. And like her namesake, that saturation advertising makes Gladys' name impossible for any New Yorker to ignore.
Complications ensue when the ads don't generate employment -- but they do generate romantic attention in the form of bumbling-but-lovable co-star Jack Lemmon -- and media attention just at the point when "celebrity" had come to mean "the art of being famous by being famous.
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Format: DVD
"It Should Happen To You" is the delightful, bubble-headed comedy about Gladys Glover (Judy Holliday), who decides that all one really needs to be famous is a gigantic billboard advertising her name in New York. Well, the trick works and before long Gladys has to choose between the affections of a rich businessman (Peter Lawford), who's romance is predicated on getting Gladys to sell him her advertising space, or a genuine romance with her simple-life boyfriend (Jack Lemmon). As Gladys, Holliday is once again in rare form, delivering the kind of light-hearted, idiotic, yet tender comedic touch that easily made her the darling of such classics as "Born Yesterday" and "The Solid Gold Cadillac". The film is great fun and absorbingly original from start to finish!
TRANSFER: It should happen more often over at Columbia that they give DVD consumers such a nice looking print of their classic films. This film has a wonderfully smooth look to it, with deep blacks and a nicely balanced gray scale. The contrast levels seem to be subdued somewhat. There are rarely traces of film grain and NO digital artifacts or anomalies. The audio is mono but nicely done.
EXTRAS: Sorry - it's Columbia. You get a couple of trailers and that's all!
BOTTOM LINE: I don't know whether Columbia's finally realizing that DVD consumers want pristine versions of their classics on DVD, or if this film simply aged well in their studio vaults - either way, "It Should Happen To You" is a movie that should definitely find its way into your DVD library!
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Format: VHS Tape
I recently saw this movie again, shortly before Lemmon's death a few weeks ago. It was his first film and he displayed in it a budding talent that would only grow by leaps and bounds in the decades ahead. Lemmon plays the earnest, documentary film maker suitor for Gladys Glover (Judy Holliday). He meets her in Central Park one day while shooting footage for his next film. He is instantly taken with her but she is oblivious to him because she is so taken with making a name for herself, even if there is no accomplishment beyond the fame of her name. Hence, she rents a billboard in 1950s Columbus Circle New York that advertises solely her name.

Shortly, wolfish Peter Lawford is after her, trying to get both her billboard and her virtue. Her head gets radically swelled by all these new developments and she neglects Lemmon. Lemmon and she have several wonderful romantic scenes together. One is where he plays the piano in a bar while they sing together "Let's Fall In Love." (Playing the piano like this was actually Lemmon's favorite pasttime in his private life.) Another scene is when he films a documentary for her that tells her what is wrong with their relationship. It is both funny and sad at the same time. Then there is the scene at the zoo where Lemmon very ably apes a monkey, while shooting another documentary, while a plane from Gladys buzzes overhead.

Lemmon was very lucky in one respect. For his very first outing in film, he was in a movie directed by the fabulous George Cukor and written by the famous romantic comedy team of Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. Not every beginner is given such a lofty start but he certainly proved worthy of it.
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