Frank Capra’s screwball comedy was the first film to win all five top Academy Awards: Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor and Actress. In spite of the weight of all these awards, it remains a genuinely funny, carefully observed, thoroughly winning comedy.
Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable were already big stars when they made this “little” film for Capra. While Colbert had been playing a wide range of parts at Paramount in melodramas, comedies and musicals, Gable was known primarily for tough guys and gangsters. He had revealed the funny side of his macho persona only in melodramas for his home studio; it had never occurred to the MGM brain trust to put him in an actual, flat-out comedy. They considered his one-film loan-out to lowly Columbia Pictures a punishment. Some punishment.
So get on the bus with runaway bride/millionaire’s daughter Colbert and on-the-make newsman Gable in the original road comedy, It Happened One Night.
It Happened One Night will be screened Monday (Nov. 18) at 2:30, 5 and 7:30 PM on the Mainstage at Proctors (432 State St., Schenectady) as part of the AFI 100 series. Tickets are $5. For more info, call 346-6204.