It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night (Original Title: It Happened One Night ) is an American screwball comedy directed by Frank Capra of 1934 The script is created based on the short story Night Bus by Samuel Hopkins Adams.. With this production, the first time a film won Oscars in the five major categories.


Ellie Andrews is on the run from her very wealthy father who wants to dissolve their recent marriage in the windy playboy King Westley. Along the way she learns the unemployed newspaper reporter Peter Warne know, who immediately senses the chance to use the new acquaintance for his professional purposes. Ellie, who stands after a theft without money and clothes, agrees to exclusively give Peter a running account of her escape, if he helps her for it to reach her ​​husband to New York.

After a Buspanne to try the two further hitchhiked to New York eke, where they get closer to each other after initial reluctance. Shortly before the end of the trip Ellie confesses her love Peter, who hesitates at first due to her marriage to Westley. However, the next night he goes to New York to make arrangements for a joint trip. When Ellie noticed that Peter is gone, it assumes that he had left her, and returns to her father. Together with him she plans the church wedding with Westley. Both Ellie and Peter can not forget each other and so they flee from the wedding ceremony. Her father pays Westley a severance payment and leaves the marriage but now cancel, so finally Ellie and Peter can marry.


The problems with the cast for the film were legendary. The female lead role was rejected by Margaret Sullavan, Constance Bennett, Miriam Hopkins and Carole Lombard. Supposedly was also trying to attract the young Bette Davis. Claudette Colbert took on the role only because you promised her twice their usual Gage at Paramount and a rotation period of a maximum of four weeks. Similarly difficult to occupy the male part was. Robert Montgomery, the first choice, politely declined. Supposedly been forced by Louis B. Mayer personally to accept the job Clark Gable. This should, so the rumors Gable be punished for his unruly behavior at MGM.

However, the greatest career boost brought the film Claudette Colbert, who had been kicked at Paramount rather than dramatic actress wife fates in appearance. Together with her other hit of the year, Imitation of Life, which she turned at Universal, she quickly rose to the female superstars in Hollywood. The subsequent films such as She Married Her Boss, senior physician Dr. Monet, received another nomination for Best Actress for Colbert, and The Gilded Lily consolidated their status.

The German premiere took place on October 15, 1935 in Berlin, where he was first shown with subtitles. The film was eventually so successful that people established a German dubbed version, which was used from the beginning of December. For Clark Gable said Siegfried Schürenberg, Til Klokow borrowed Claudette Colbert her voice. Some years ago, this version was rediscovered and presented in Zeughauskino the German Historical Museum in Berlin.


In the New York Times, Mordaunt Hall wrote in 1934 that It Happened One Night a good movie should be blessed with feverish stunts with shiny dialogue and a balanced number of relatively subdued scenes. The industry magazine Variety noted that " the story [ ... ] the not concretely definable stimulus" have, " which consists of a balanced mixture of ingredients " arises. The film was " difficult to analyze, impossible [ ... ] to reproduce " and " just a happy coincidence ."

The verdict of the International Encyclopedia of the film: ". Played and staged Shiny, which interspersed with witty social criticism and irony refreshing Hollywood comedy can still awarded to entertain " Even Cinema Capra describes the film as " still charming comedy". This is a " timeless masterpiece with witty dialogues ."


It Happened One Night was the first film in 1935, the Oscars in the five major categories, the Big Five: Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor ( Clark Gable ) and Best Actress ( Claudette Colbert ), could win. Since this is only One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest succeeded (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs ( 1991). In 1934 the film with the National Board of Review Award in the category Best Film and was responsible for the Coppa Mussolini, nominated the grand prize of the Venice Film Festival for Best Film.

1993 It Happened One Night in the National Film Registry of the most important American films included. The American Film Institute selected the film in 1998 and 2007 in several lists: List of the 100 best American films of all time (Issue 1998: No. 35, Ed 2007: 46th ), list of the 100 funniest American film comedies of all time (8th place ) and list of the 100 best American films of all time love (ranked 38).


Frank Capra's film is considered the first prominent and stylish formative copy of the screwball comedy of the 1930s and 1940s. He bribe by high tempo and by his witty and poignant exchange of words. Last but not least also by the fact that male and female protagonists meet at eye level, an element that is the genre of the screwball comedies of particular importance.

According to unpublished data of the Looney Tunes cartoonist Friz Freleng character elements of the cartoon character Bugs Bunny are due to influences from the movie: On the one hand the role instance of the Oscar Shapeley; also have for the way how the most famous cartoon rabbit likes to eat carrots, Clark Gable in It Happened delivered in one night the model.