It happened one Night is another movie I expected to land much higher on this ranking but some other movies were able to push it down a little bit. But still, this is a magical and wonderful movie which became one of the most beloved classics of all time.
But of course, in the end every romantic comedy depends on the two leads and Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert certainly don’t disappoint. Their chemistry is the biggest asset It happened one Night has and they both do much more than play the typical romantic leads. Clark Gable allows himself to be charmingly silly in his part while also keeping the integrity and dignity of this man alive. Claudette Colbert plays her arc believingly at every moment and step by step demonstrates how this spoiled heiress falls in love with this man she met on a bus. The interesting thing is, that while I think that Colbert and Gable carry this movie wonderfully, I always think that It happened one Night is a movie that as a whole is always better than the sum of its parts. All ingredients – the acting, the writing, the direction – are done wonderfully but only in combination with each other do they truly sparkle. This is also the reason why I would rate It happened one Night higher than the performances in it (but more about that later when I cover these acting years). Oh, and let’s not forget Roscoe Karns who is a riot as Shapelely.
Overall, It happened one Night is the kind of movie that makes you say ‘Can you believe this is almost 80 years old???’ simply because everything in it feels so modern, so alive and so energetic, especially compared to other movies and performances from this time. It’s a story that has been repeated countless times but basically never again would falling in love be so irresistible and perfect as it was here.