So yeah, this print looks great, but what surprised me was the sound. Holy crap did that audio sound as crisp and natural, as if the film were just made yesterday instead of 1934. I shouldn't be too surprised, Criterion always does a fine job with restoration. But before this turns into a full fledged commercial for the Criterion Collection (too late), I had this odd epiphany while watching the movie.
I wrote earlier this year about how much Ex Machina reminded me of Ghost in the Shell. I have an upcoming post about the similarities between Dune and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. So I must have movie comparisons on my mind. But It Happened One Night was something different. It reminded me of a ton of different movies while watching it. But the reason for that is because It Happened One Night pretty much refined the romantic comedy genre into a a crystallized perfect specimen... in 1934! Nearly all mainstream romantic comedies that followed have borrowed in some way from this classic film. Some have modified and improved elements. Most just copied and pasted the sequences and moments wholesale into their films.
|Memorable scene? Sure, but there is more to this movie.|
We are actually getting away from the influence of It Happened One Night in this modern era of movies. Fellow writer Richard Bellush at Richard's Pretension has pointed out that many modern "romance" films view romance through a cynical lens. Characters who fall in romantic love are mocked and considered the oddballs. The comedy stems from how bizarre these characters are. After years of Hollywood basing their films off of It Happened One Night, it is a pretty refreshing.
That said, I'm a softy at heart (check out my review of Oh My Goddess if you don't believe me). So something like It Happened One Night or When Harry Met Sally still work great for me.
|I love the whole discussion about dunking doughnuts.|
But for It Happened One Night, I am there to watch the interaction between Gable and Colbert. I'm there to see those characters work their way out of those situations. And I'm there for fun ride. All those things hold up well, and make it a true classic, not just of the genre, but in the space of all film history.
Have you ever watched an older film that inspired a whole slew of imitations? Did that impact your reaction to the original?
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