Director Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) took home every major Oscar for its time for this screwball comedy starring Clark Gable as a hard-bitten reporter who stays close to a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) rather than lose a good story.
People who should see it:
Instant classic, there is no reason to not enjoy this movie especially because you can watch it for free on Youtube. Frank Capra has already been a favorite of mine since I saw Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in a high school social studies class. But, I think the dialogue in this movie just blew it out of the water. I would say I enjoyed this more than Some Like it Hot even, just because I think the dialogue is just so crisp, smart, and original.
It’s interesting to think that this film came out during the Great Depression since the movie feel likes it takes place at the end of a time of plenty. The heiress’s father has a boat, a plane, and can control all the newspapers in the country, yet she’s running away from him. When she’s on the run, she is forced to realize the value of money and what life is like without it. She experiences hunger, the embarrassment of not being able to pay what she promised to pay, and seeing other people go through worse.
She falls in love with Peter Worn (Clark Gable) in spite of the bitter realism of American poverty, and they plan to run off to an island somewhere. People say it’s an escapist film for the time, but I think it’s more like a positive yet realistic outlook on the Great Depression: by working together Americans can survive life with little to no money because there are always things that money can’t buy. Though life without money is still pretty difficult.
I question the necessity of some of the scenes, but any movie that can make my mom, my dad, and me laugh out loud is pretty spectacular considering our wildly different tastes. It’s an all around feel-good film that feels like time well spent. Definitely one of my favorites now.