#155: It Happened One Night (1934)

i am a liar

When and how did I watch this?

January 14th, 2016, on Amazon Instant Video.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

This is the oldest film on the list so far.  I believe it’s the first with Clark Gable as well, but I could be mistaken.

What do I know about it now?

This was one of the most enjoyable and well put together movies on the list so far.  The ranking might reflect that, but what makes this film great isn’t just its entertainment value.  The dialogue is written with great care and clarity, the characters are complex and well-developed, and the acting ranks with high caliber stage performances. You can juxtapose it with, “That’s good for 1934”, and it is, and you can also say it would rival modern films in terms of screenwriting quite handily. It did some risque stuff for its time as well (see Colbert’s “leg scene”, and the subject of divorce), which gives it some extra momentum as a legendary film.

What are some themes in the film?

Propriety, pride, prejudice (yes, I did that), sex (believe it or not),

Did this affect me personally?

Not wholly, but I was honored to watch this one and to be exposed to an excellent story.

Why is this ranked #155?

It’s possible people are familiar with Clark Gable’s work, and this was one of his most prestigious features.  Talking movies were a novel invention, and this one really knocked it out. Movie buffs and critics alike rightfully give it high marks.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She likes this movie still more than I ever will.

Would I watch it again?

She loved it.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Yes!  It’d make a nice date movie.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

No doubt about it.  It swept the Academy Awards that year (got all of the “Big Five”), it’s fun, intelligent, and well produced.  No time is wasted (nor should it have been — film was expensive!), and it’s clear these are professionals on camera. I’m down.

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