I love this sign from the movie It Happened One Night (1934). In related news, I am 12 years old. In even more related news, I wrote about a great scene from the afore-mentioned screwball comedy for the “Mix Tape” series over at The Film Experience. Read and enjoy! As Nathaniel commented, It Happened One Night is a total “overachiever of a movie” that manages to invent cinematic shorthand and romantic comedy clichés while remaining totally entertaining, and blowing you away with Gable & Colbert’s combined star power. (Alas, it also has some sexist undertones.)
It Happened One Night contains about a half-dozen scenes that are, by themselves, wittier than most full movies. So in lieu of heaping more praise on this über-charming masterpiece of ’30s Hollywood, why don’t I just list a few of them?
- Gable’s introduction, through a drunken phone call
- Shapeley: “When a cold mama gets hot, boy, how she sizzles!”
- Deceiving the private detectives: “Once a plumber’s daughter, always a plumber’s daughter!”
- Hitchhiking: “The limb is mightier than the thumb.”
- Alan Hale: “Young people in love are very seldom hungry!”
- And yes, the fall of the walls of Jericho. It’s a nifty balancing act that the film is just as carnal and knowing as it is cutesy and sentimental.
There you have it: those individual lines can crack me up every time, and that’s why I love It Happened One Night.