It Happened One Night
See ‘it happened one night’, and one 1/2 of you will need to offer frank capra’s effervescent 1934 screwball avenue film a huge old hug. The other 1/2 will need to slap it around the chops, tell it to stand inside the corner and think about what it has executed. Touted as the film that set the template for the modern romantic comedy, the query we should ask is:
Are we able to discover an area in our hearts to forgive it for setting the precedent for such recent abominations as ‘the returned-up plan’, ‘the ugly truth’ and ‘the bounty hunter’? Properly, of route we will, but best because capra’s movie has extra allure and zeal in a single frame than in all the ones films put together. It’s the story of a salty, hooch-swilling reporter (clark gable) who's thrown together with a spoiled society heiress (claudette colbert) on an overnight greyhound bus to the big apple. The movie (that is being re-launched to coincide with a capra retrospective at the bfi) genuinely follows them as they bicker, backbite and clamour for the upper hand. Each line of debate is calculated bliss, the chemistry among the leads is remarkable, and the backdrop of despair-generation the us allows for a prescient and amusing subplot about how well-heeled urbanites are forced to misbehave after they have no cash in their fashion designer wallet. It’s possibly more historically critical than it is a masterpiece (the last 20 mins take the neglected conections and misunderstandings an inch too a long way), however it’s still very easy to fall in love with.