Monthly Archives: March 2014

It Happened One Night – Best Picture Winner; 1934

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The Basics – It Happened One Night (1934) – Director, Frank Capra; starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert; Run Time – 105 mins. – Comedy, Romance – “A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who’s actually a reporter looking for a story.”

Prior Knowledge

Kristy – Although I have little knowledge on the plot of this movie I am excited to see it because many people have told me how great it is.

Koob – As is the theme with most of these early best picture winners, I saw this film around 12 years ago and I remember it being a very witty and clever romantic comedy.  I also know that it is one of only three films to win all five of the major categories at the Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Screenplay).

Fun Facts from IMDB

-Constance Bennett and Myrna Loy, among others, turned the script down. Claudette Colbert only accepted because Capra promised he would double her salary and she would be done in four weeks. She disliked the film so much she didn’t even attend the Oscars; when she won for Best Actress she was found about to leave on a trip and was rushed to the ceremony, where she made her acceptance speech in a traveling suit.

-Friz Freleng’s unpublished memoirs mention that this was one of his favorite films, and that it contains at least three things upon which the character “Bugs Bunny” was based; the character Oscar Shapely’s (Roscoe Karns) personality. the manner in which Peter Warne (Clark Gable) was eating carrots and talking quickly at the same time, and an imaginary character mentioned once to frighten Oscar Shapely named “Bugs Dooley.”

-Director Frank Capra came up with the idea about “the walls of Jericho” because Claudette Colbert refused to undress in front of the camera.

-When director Frank Capra asked Claudette Colbert to expose her leg for the hitchhiking scene, she at first refused. Later, after having seen the leg of her body double, she changed her mind insisting that “that is not my leg!”

Viewing Source – Amazon Instant Video ($2.99 rental)

Post Viewing Responses

Ratings (with 1 star = the worst and 5 stars = the best)

Koob: 4 stars

Kristy: 4 stars

Double Gobble Score: 4 stars

The Takeaway: A little dated but still a witty, well-written classic and the standard bearer for all future romantic comedies.

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Coffee and Donuts for “It Happened One Night”

Coffee and Donuts

For our food pairing for “It Happened One Night” we chose good old-fashioned donuts and a cup of coffee.  One of the classic scenes from “It Happened One Night” is the scene in the room at the Auto Park when Clark Gable is making Claudette Colbert a “rationed” breakfast; one scrambled egg, a donut, and a cup of black coffee.  Then Gable explains the art of dunking to Colbert.  Here is the transcript from that scene:

Peter: Say, where did you learn to dunk, in finishing school?
Ellie: [indignantly] Aw, now, don’t you start telling me I shouldn’t dunk.
Peter: Of course you shouldn’t. You don’t know how to do it. Dunking’s an art. Don’t let it soak so long. A dip and—plop, into your mouth. If you let it soak so long, it’ll get soft and fall off. It’s all a matter of timing. I ought to write a book about it.

The release of this movie coincided with the popularity of donuts in America as they were billed as “The Hit Food of the Century of Progress” at the 1933/34 Chicago World’s Fair and lauded as “the perfect union of fresh ingredients and automated preparation”.  So get your self some “Old-Fashioneds” from Dunkin’ Donuts (they still sell these) and a good strong cup of black coffee and dunk away.  Just make sure you do it properly.

It Happened One Night

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