Best Picture Reviews: It Happened One Night

And now, the big one. The seventh best picture in a row holds the distinction of being one of the three movies to win the ‘Big Five’ at the Oscars. (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay) The other two are ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ and ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’. When I started these reviews, my parents kept telling me how good ‘It Happened One Night’ is, and I kept saying. “I’ll get there when I get there.”. Well, I’ve got there. And now I’ve finally seen the beauty that the lucky number 7 of the Oscars has to offer.

Ellen Andrews (Claudette Colbert) is a rich baroness who, after an argument with her father who disproves of her fiancee, jumps off her yacht and heads to New York. On her way, she comes across Peter Warne (Clark Gable), who recognizes her and offers to help her in exchange for a good news story for his company. Eventually they run out of money and start hitchhiking, as little by little, she falls in love with him.

So what makes this film work? Four words. Clark. Gable. Claudette. Colbert. I know that if you’ve seen this movie reviewed, you already know how good they are, but hey! What do you think I’m gonna say when I get to ‘The Godfather’? Many of these movies are well known, and everybody knows what makes it work. But while it may be no secret, it’s a fact that the on-screen chemistry between the two leads is the glue that turns a good movie into a great one. There is a set time in the story for the two to fall in love, and the script and directing are just the delicious icing on the cake, formatting the kind of ‘feel good’ movie that people during the Great Depression needed.

It Happened One Night. Just see it already.

*****

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