8.1/10
92,765
304 user 123 critic

It Happened One Night (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 22 February 1934 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Robert Riskin (screen play), Samuel Hopkins Adams (based on the short story by)
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Popularity
4,975 ( 658)
Top Rated Movies #241 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Peter Warne
Claudette Colbert ... Ellie Andrews
Walter Connolly ... Alexander Andrews
Roscoe Karns ... Oscar Shapeley
Jameson Thomas ... King Westley
Alan Hale ... Danker
Arthur Hoyt ... Zeke
Blanche Friderici ... Zeke's Wife
Charles C. Wilson ... Joe Gordon
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Storyline

Ellie Andrews has just tied the knot with society aviator King Westley when she is whisked away to her father's yacht and out of King's clutches. Ellie jumps ship and eventually winds up on a bus headed back to her husband. Reluctantly she must accept the help of out-of- work reporter Peter Warne. Actually, Warne doesn't give her any choice: either she sticks with him until he gets her back to her husband, or he'll blow the whistle on Ellie to her father. Either way, Peter gets what (he thinks!) he wants .... a really juicy newspaper story. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two great lovers of the screen in the grandest of romantic comedies ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Frank Capra in an interview with Richard Schickel for "The Men Who Made the Movies", "We made the picture really quickly--four weeks. We stumbled through it, we laughed our way through it. And this goes to show you how much luck and timing and being in the right place at the right time means in show business; how sometimes no preparation at all is better than all the preparation in the world, and sometimes you need great preparation, but you can never out-guess this thing called creativity. It happens in the strangest places and under the strangest of circumstances. I didn't care much for the picture, ] it turned out to be 'It Happened One Night'." See more »

Goofs

On wedding day, King comes into room to comfort Ellie. A few minutes later he arrives by autogyro. See more »

Quotes

Ellie Andrews: By the way, what's your name?
Peter Warne: What's that?
Ellie Andrews: Who are you?
Peter Warne: Who me?
[smiling]
Peter Warne: I'm the whippoorwill that cries in the night. I'm the soft morning breeze that caresses your lovely face.
Ellie Andrews: You've got a name, haven't you?
Peter Warne: Yeah, I got a name. Peter Warne.
Ellie Andrews: Peter Warne. I don't like it.
Peter Warne: Don't let it bother you. You're giving it back to me in the morning.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Who's the Boss?: It Happened One Summer: Part 2 (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

The Flying Trapeze
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Gaston Lyle
Lyrics by George Leybourne
Performed by all bus passengers
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User Reviews

 
It happened one night...I fell in love with this film!
11 March 2005 | by lovable_lil_devil132See all my reviews

IHON rightly earns it's place as one of the greatest romantic comedies in film history. A pioneer of the screwball comedy genre, it holds up very well 71 years after it was made.

It's a classic tale of the battle of sexes- something that is still so relevant today. We follow the story of spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert), who jumps ship from her father's yacht (literally!) in Florida after an argument with said father (played by Walter Connolly) over her marrying wealthy playboy King Westley (Jameson Thomas) without her father's consent. Ellie is on a mission- to get to New York to King Westley. But how will she do it? That's how Peter Warne (played by a delightfully handsome Clark Gable) comes into the story. Recently fired from his newspaper job, Peter meets Ellie on the Night Bus to New York, and, realizing who she is (Her story is all over the news, after all!), offers to help her get to NY and Westley if she gives him an exclusive story- to win him back his job. And so the fun begins. Colbert and Gable have great chemistry as the mismatched couple thrown together after a series of unusual circumstances. The trip isn't a smooth one- and we are taken on a wild ride with Peter and Ellie, which gives us great scenes such as the doughnut-dunking lesson, Walls Of Jericho and the now-classic hitchhiking scene. The humour is still fresh and fast-paced over 70 years later. Oops, I almost forgot the classic 'no undershirt scene' where Gable sexily gives Colbert a lesson in how a man undresses, to reveal (shock horror!) no undershirt, but a bare chest! This had a bad effect on the sales of men's undershirts, which dropped dramatically after the film's release (One of the first examples of product placement in film). Great supporting characters, particularly the scene-stealing Oscar Shapeley (Roscoe Karns). Of course it has it's faults- all early talkies do. But any faults are outweighed by the great story. Technically, it was well-made for it's time.

IHON won 5 Oscars- Best Picture, Best Director (Frank Capra), Best Actress and Best Actor for Colbert and Gable and Best Adaptation. It deserved all of them. Funnily enough, both Colbert and Gable didn’t want any part in the film at first- I bet they changed their viewpoint after the surprise success and the prestigious Academy Awards they gained for it. It's been said that a number of Disney characters like Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and Pepe LePew were inspired by characters in this film. A classic, a must-see, a great movie.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Bus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$325,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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