The Sexy Lunacy of It Happened One Night

one night gable colbert

My second post for the ongoing romantic films countdown at Wonders in the Dark is up now. At number 32, it’s Frank Capra’s seminal sexy screwball classic, It Happened One Night (1934).

Night has been cited as one of the founding pictures of the screwball genre, and indeed, many of the elements that would come to define the form are present here. The movie gently yet pointedly skewers the idleness of the wealthy, using an “everyday,” central character (here, Peter) both to highlight the ridiculousness of the rich, and to school them in the ways of the real world. The romance between Peter and Ellie is fraught with illogical yet perfectly plausible (at least, in context) misunderstandings and misadventures that lead both lovers astray before they find their way to one another again. There are multiple weddings, multiple scuffles, multiple witty insults thrown back and forth, endlessly delayed gratification—a veritable tidal wave of unrelieved and thoroughly enjoyable lunacy.

Check out the rest of this piece at Wonders in the Dark!

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