My current Top 5

My current Top 5


Number 22: It happened one Night (Best Picture Ranking)

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.

Basically, the movie follows the old knowledge that nothing can be more entertaining than the fight of the sexes. It’s clear from the first moment that Clark Gable’s journalist and Claudette Colbert’s arrogant heiress are made for each other and will ultimately end up together – but nothing could be more charming, romantic and amusing than watching these two figure it out for themselves. The script is extremely clever and gives the two stars a lot to work with while Frank Capra’s direction turns a lot of scenes that could have been very ordinary into true classics. Who can ever forget all the cars driving by Peter until Ellie decides to show him how to stop a car? It happened one Night has the honour of being a movie that is completely able to live up to its reputation – nothing seems overpraised or overrated, the whole movie keeps going with the right tempo, never too fast and never too slow.

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.


dinasztie said...

Well, yeah. This is a great movie. :)

Louis Morgan said...

A really enjoyable movie, and another that I would have a little higher. Also I think I probably disagree about the sums of its parts sort of thing you seem to be talking about.

Fritz said...

I just meant that the movie itself gets a 5 from me while the leading performances are more a 4 or a 4,5 even though they are the reason why the movie is a 5...I know it sounds strange but it's my overall reaction.

Anonymous said...

A brilliant film, such an amazing masterpiece, perfect from beginning to ending, amazing performances, superb screenplay and outstanding direction, I think that at this moment it's my favorite of the three big 5 winners, but I really love the other two as well! I think it's far better than Annie Hall but I think it's a fair place for it. I hope Annie Hall, Shakespeare in Love, The Godfather Part II and Lawrence of Arabia are up next!