I love classic movies, but not just any classics. Of course, I love westerns, but even more than that, I love a really good old-fashioned romantic comedy. So much so, that I’ve started a collection of DVD’s of Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Clark Cable and James Garner movies to name a few of my favorites.
One movie I’ve enjoyed over and over again is It Happened One Night. With Claudette Colbert playing a spoiled rich heiress on the run and Clark Cable playing a ambitious journalist out to land the biggest story of his career,you have the makings of a first-class romance. The thing I love about this movie is that nothing really is as it seems – the heiress is rebelling against her wealthy father and is not really in love with the man she’s running to meet. Our journalist (Clark Gable) pretends to be a traveling man, and though recognizes the heiress immediately getting on a bus, he doesn’t let on and follows her in search of groundbreaking headlines. He wants an inside exclusive. Needless to say, Peter Warne’s disdain for Ellie Andrews changes during the course of their journey and we see such amazing character development between the two and even they refuse to recognize it for what it is, until almost too late.
The dynamics of this romance set the standards for all the romances to come. It was so cleverly written that to this day, I recall some scenes and still laugh out loud. Each time I watch the movie, I find something new, something I didn’t pick up on from my last viewing and that’s always a treat. It’s a feel-good, wonderfully plotted story that leaves the viewer wanting to come back for more.To your right is a picture of Peter giving Ellie a lesson in “hitchhiking.” I’m smiling as I write this because his three attempts have failed much to his chagrin and now Ellie turns the tables and shows him that her method works the best!
To your left is a picture of the classic “blanket” scene. The two have to spend the night together in a motel, and Peter sets up a clothesline with a blanket separating them for their night’s sleep. Needless to say, neither gets much sleep that night with thoughts of the other – finally recognizing their love. Hopeful and broke, Peter gets an idea and in the morning Ellie finds him gone and thinking he’s left her for good, she retreats back to her father and her opulent lifestyle. You just have to see this black and white movie to learn the outcome. The ending to this story leaves you with a smile and wanting more.
It Happened One Night won 5 Academy Awards in 1931 – Best Picture, Best Director (Frank Capra) , Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay. It’s a feat that hadn’t been repeated until 1975 with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and then 1991 with Silence of the Lambs.
Times have surely changed. Still and all, the last movies I saw weren’t There Will Be Blood or Michael Clayton. They were 27 Dresses and Fool’s Gold. I need my romantic fix and even though these were pretty good movies, they don’t compare to the classics. Do you love old romantic comedies? Which are your favorites? I’d really love to hear about it.
In honor of romance lovers favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day, I’ll be giving away one book each to 2 winners today to help celebrate romance. I’ll post the winners at the end of the day, Pacific standard time. You may have your choice of my current Desire, The Corporate Raider’s Revenge (Romance Reviews Today’s Perfect 10) for January or March’s Taming The Texan, garnering Romantic Times Magazine’s K.I.S.S. hero (Knight in Shining Silver) for Clint Hayworth.
Happy Trails and Happy Reading!