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It Happened One Night Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Frank Capra's seminal screwball comedy, which won all five major Academy Awards for 1934, is still as breezy and beguiling today. Claudette Colbert plays Ellie Andrews, a spoiled heiress who has married fortune-hunting aviator King Westley (Jameson Thomas), despite her father (Walter Connolly)'s objections. To keep Ellie from marrying this lothario, her father has been holding her prisoner aboard his yacht. But Ellie bolts from the yacht, swims ashore in her clothes, and eventually slips onto a Greyhound bus bound for New York. Aboard the bus is newspaper reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable), who has recently been fired for drinking on the job. Peter gets the last seat on the bus -- but when he gets up to argue with the bus driver, Ellie takes his seat. Since it is the last seat on the bus, they have to share it. When Ellie has her purse stolen and she refuses to report it, Peter begins to suspect something. The next morning, they both miss the bus after a leisurely breakfast, and Peter reveals that he knows her identity. She makes a deal with him: if he helps her get to New York, he can write a scoop about her for his paper. Peter thinks she is a spoiled brat, however, and refuses a monetary bribe: "I'm not interested in your money or your problem. You, King Westley, your father -- you're all a lot of hooey to me!" But as they travel northward and engage in a series of misadventures, the gruff newspaperman and the spoiled rich girl, thrown together by circumstances, fall in love with each other. This movie set the pace for the "screwball" comedy, the witty and romantic clash of temperaments between a man and a woman mismatched in both personality and social position, a type of movie often associated with Katherine Hepburn in such classics as Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), and, with Spencer Tracy, Adam's Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), and Desk Set (1957), among others. The only other movies to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Screenplay) were One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:February 22, 1934

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Claudette Colbert Best Actress 1934 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Clark Gable Best Actor 1934 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Frank Capra Best Director 1934 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Riskin Best Adapted Screenplay 1934 Winner

Cast

Clark Gable
as Peter Warne
Claudette Colbert
as Ellie Andrews
Walter Connolly
as Alexander Andrews
Roscoe Karns
as Oscar Shapeley
Jameson Thomas
as King Westley
Alan Hale
as Danker
Eddy Chandler
as Bus Driver
Irving Bacon
as Station Attendant
Earl Pingree
Milt Kibbee
as Reporter
Mickey Daniels
as Vender
Eddie Kane
as Radio Announcer
Eva Dennison
as Society Woman
Joseph Crehan
as Detective
Wallis Clark
as Lovington
Sherry Hall
as Reporter
Arthur Hoyt
as Zeke
Kit Guard
as Bus Passenger
George Breakston
as Boy
Ethel Sykes
as Maid of Honor
James Burke
Bess Flowers
as Secretary
Hal Price
as Reporter
Tom Ricketts
as Prissy Old Man
Charles Wilson
as Joe Gordon
Bert Starkey
Frank Yaconelli
as Tony
Ernie S. Adams
Harry C. Bradley
as Henderson
Oliver Eckhardt
as Dykes
Harry Holman
as Auto Camp Manager
Ky Robinson
Claire McDowell
as Mother
Harry Todd
as Flag Man
Ward Bond
as Bus Driver
Billy Engle
Dave Wengren
Charles D. Brown
as Reporter
Maidel Turner
as Manager's Wife
Blanche Frederici
as Zeke's Wife

Crew

Frank Capra
Director
Frank Capra
Producer
Harry Cohn
Producer
Robert Riskin
Screenwriter
Joseph Walker
Cinematographer
Louis Silvers
Musical Direction/Supervision
Gene Havlick
Editor
Stephen Goosson
Art Director
Robert Kalloch
Costume Designer
Edward Bernds
Sound Mixer
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