It Happened One Night (1934) lifted the spirits of Depression America and continues to entertain audiences. In this “screwball comedy,” Claudette Colbert plays a runaway bride with a mind of her own who meets fired newspaperman Clark Gable on a long-distance bus ride. Gable demonstrating how a guy undresses and Colbert proving she is the superior hitch-hiker are among the iconic moments from this classic. In the competition for Colbert’s heart, the cards are clearly and satisfyingly stacked against her wealthy, stuffy bridegroom. Frank Capra (who earned his chops in silent comedies) directed, and won one of five major Oscars bestowed on this delightul film.
Carolyn Anderson, Professor Emerita at UMass Amherst, was a founding member of the University’s Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies and represented UMass for many years on the Five College Film Council. She has published widely on film topics, lectured in a range of venues internationally, and routinely serves as a judge for film festivals.