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Archive for August 22nd, 2014

it happened one night

By Brandie Ashe

It’s a simple enough story: girl meets boy and decides to elope. Girl’s wealthy father takes her away from her new husband and attempts to annul the marriage. Girl escapes her father’s control and tries to make it back to her husband with all manner of detectives on her trail. Girl meets a down-on-his-luck reporter who offers to return her to her husband in exchange for the exclusive rights to her story. Girl and reporter fall in love during one of the craziest road trips ever put to film.

It’s immensely hilarious and zany and clever. It’s appealingly romantic and truly sexy. It helped kick start an entire genre of films. It won a slew of Academy Awards. Eighty years after its release, it remains a favorite of many a movie fan.

Funny to think, then, that neither of its stars even wanted to make the damn picture in the first place.

Frank Capra’s 1934 screwball classic It Happened One Night remains a textbook example of effective romantic comedy. It is truly one of the greatest films ever made. And yet stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert had their qualms about doing the picture at all; Gable was loaned to Columbia to make the film as punishment for defying boss Louis B. Mayer over at MGM, while Colbert only agreed to shoot Night for the $50,000 salary and the promise of a short production time. In fact, upon the conclusion of filming, Colbert reportedly told friends that she had just completed “the worst picture in the world.” But both stars underestimated the appeal of this movie and their performances in it, because both were ultimately awarded Oscars for their work. (more…)

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