J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 01/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More than six decades after its original release, "It Happened One Night" still sparkles like a newly minted coin. It's romantic, witty, sophisticated ... and certain key scenes (especially Clark Gable's gangster impression and Claudette Colbert's hitch-hiking lesson) remain laugh-out-loud funny. A near perfect blend of script, direction, and performance, it deservedly swept the top five 1934 Academy Awards. One statue that it wasn't even nominated for, and should have won, was for Joseph Walker's Cinematography; his masterful camerawork makes this movie glisten and shine.The DVD transfer is amazingly beautiful. There are a few shots that appear to be slightly grainy and one or two jumps in the soundtrack, but those are minor quibbles. I've watched this film several times over the past twenty years -- in a revival theatre, on satellite, and on VHS -- and it's never looked as good as it does here. The DVD extras are icing on the cake: trailers for this film and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"; the teaser for "Lost Horizon"; a filmed commentary by Frank Capra, Jr.; and the 1939 Lux Theatre radio broadcast of the story. I especially enjoyed the advertising archive section, which included color reproductions of the original one-sheet posters and lobby cards. Overall, this disc is a great example of the DVD format at its finest, and a most worthy presentation of a genuine Hollywood classic."
Still the gold standard of screwball comedies
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 10/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1934, an underbudgeted, little-heralded film by the young director Frank Capra swept the Oscars, winning for best picture, director, actor, actress, and screenplay. Seventy years later, it's remarkable how fresh and funny "It Happened One Night" seems. Neither Claudette Colbert nor Clark Gable wanted to do this film, but despite or perhaps because of this, their performances are spontaneous and endearing. They have real chemistry, and the scenes of them flirting and bickering have been much-imitated but never equalled. Besides the famous "Walls of Jericho" scene when Peter undresses, I also love it when Peter teaches Ellie how to dunk a donut. The story is simple: Ellie Andrews, a spoiled heiress, runs away to marry her fiance. On the bus to NYC she meets Peter Warne (Gable), a reporter who's just been fired from his newspaper. Both are brash and obnoxious. Of course this odd couple fall in love. It Happened One Night of course was filmed during the height of the Great Depression, and unlike many Hollywood films of that era did not portray a world of impossible luxury. Peter and Ellie spend a night in a cheap autocamp, their bus breaks down and a passenger faints from hunger, and Capra has numerous scenes of characters enjoying simple things, like eating a carrot or hitchhiking or stealing a jalopy. As is typical with his movies there are a lot of eccentric characters, like a singing driver and an obnoxious bus passenger who says "Shapely's the name and that's the way I like 'em." I also love the depiction of Ellie Andrews -- this was an era when women onscreen were strong and resourceful. Although the film does play up the "spoiled heiress" stereotype Ellie never becomes an obnoxious type character. It's delightful that in this movie, Ellie "wears the pants" in the relationship and is the mover and shaker. The bickering-but-respectful relationship between Peter and Ellie is an interesting contrast to a film made 20 years later, Roman Holiday. Roman Holiday is a film with a similar storyline, but the gender politics have changed. Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) has none of the eccentricity of Peter Warne (who's shown chewing a carrot), but is the romantic knight in shining armor. Audrey Hepburn's Princess is charming and doe-eyed, not brash and cheeky like Ellie. It Happened One Night is not a big-budget film. Over the years, Hollywood has come out with many romantic comedies, some excellent. But It Happened One Night is still the gold standard. For once a classic film's reputation is richly deserved."
Simply The Best
E. Parsons | 06/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't claim be a movie expert, but this is the best film I have ever seen. I already owned a VHS copy, but on buying a DVD player I paid good money to have this disc shipped to me in England - and boy was it worth it! The picture quality is as good as you will find anywhere and the sound is superb too. The DVD is also jam-packed with extra features. The film's commentary is provided by Frank Capra Jr. He has a wonderfully relaxed style and doesn't just sound as if he's reading from a prepared script. Along with Ron Howard's commentary for Apollo 13, this is the best DVD commentary I have heard to date. A special feature unique amongst DVDs must be the radio version of 'It Happened One Night', first broadcast in 1939, again starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. Whoever had the idea of including this on the DVD deserves a salary rise. The disc also includes trailers, cast lists, some beautifully illustrated posters and also a Frank Capra Jr introduction. This really is an extremely impressive package of Frank Capra's masterpiece."
A Timeless Comedy
Mark Devey | Murrieta, CA USA | 03/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More than any movie from the 1930s, this Frank Capra film has not dated at all. In spite of 60 plus years of "romantic comedies" which have followed "It Happened One Night," it remains fresh and laugh-out-loud funny. Clark Gable is at his most charming as the scheming newspaper reporter who hopes to get the inside scoop on the "brat," played beautifully by Claudette Colbert, who is on the run from her millionaire father. This Frank Capra films still makes us laugh because he so humorously shows us that while men and women are different, for some reason they can't live without one another even though they can, as here, drive each other crazy. The hitchhiking scene and the scene where Gable and Colbert pretend they are married are timeless classics. Columbia Classics has done a wonderful job of presenting the best print we can probably expect 60 years on. The disc also contains a commentary from Capra's son, Frank Capra, Jr. and a "remembrance" of the film. I cannot recommend this movie enough."
WINNER - 1934 Picture of the Year "THE TOP 5 OSCARS" !!!!
forrie | Nashua, NH United States | 03/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""It Happen One Night" won the top 5 Oscars of 1934. Best Picture, Best Director - Frank Capra, Best Actor - Clark Gable, Best Actress - Claudette Colbert & Screen Play. This is one of the best "screwball comedies" ever. (Screwball (Black) comedy was a type of comedy introduced during the Depression years (1930's) depicting strange scenarios, characters with twists and bazaar (screwball) plots).In summary; Rich, spoiled,runaway heiress Ellie (Colbert) & a newspaper reporter, Peter (Gable) have a chance meeting on a bus & end up together on a crazy romantic journey. They are totally mismatched and in an adversarial relationship. Their trek takes them through the Depression countryside of America where Ellie gets a strong dose of reality. As events unfurl & situations occur they become involved & the rest is cinematic history. This DVD is one of the best ever. The picture & sound quality rival being at the original showing. Probally because it is digitalized better!!!. The extras, including a radio broadcast show with Gable and Colbert & one of the best movie commentaries by Frank Capra Jr. (Frank Sr's, son)are added treats to enjoy. A great value DVD. This is a great way to enjoy the Hollywood of the 30's and the stellar cast performing perfectly."