It Happened One Night

1934 NR 1h 45m Blu-ray / DVD

It Happened One Night

1934 NR 1h 45m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Runaway socialite Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) is en route to the Big Apple to elope and along the way she meets a crusty newspaperman (Clark Gable). But a string of zany misadventures leads them to realize they're madly if reluctantly in love.
Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Jameson Thomas, Alan Hale, Arthur Hoyt, Blanche Friderici, Charles C. Wilson
Frank Capra
Blu-ray DVD
Full Screen 1.33:1
English, Chinese Simplified, Spanish (Neutral), Korean, Portuguese, Thai
Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Full Screen 1.33:1
English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA. NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 10+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 10+
age 10+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that in this funny and sophisticated early black-and-white romantic comedy, the behavior of the leading male and female characters reflects a gender inequality that was the norm for its time. The strong, dashing hero protects (and even babies) the vulnerable, needy "poor little rich girl." He calls her "brat," tells her to "shut up." She smiles and falls even harder for his brash charms. A fierce argument results in a father slapping his adult daughter in the face. There are flirtatious moments, "winks" to sexuality as the hero and heroine hang a blanket between them in a lodge room and undress on either side of it. Drinking and drunkenness are played for fun in several scenes, with slurred speech and back-slapping male camaraderie. Almost everyone smokes.

Sexual Content

Some flirtatious moments -- with light sexual innuendo when the romantic leads are forced to share a room. They get partially undressed (he's bare-chested; she's in a slip) standing on opposite sides of a hanging blanket. A coarse man makes an awkward, silly pass at the heroine. In a famous hitchhiking scene, the leading lady reveals some leg to stop a motorist.


After a heated argument an angry father slaps his adult daughter's face. The young woman then dives off the side of yacht and lands in the sea. We don't see her emerge, but she appears, alive and well in a new scene soon afterwards. A scene with angry threats.


The hero calls the heroine "brat" throughout and orders her to "shut up," more than once.

Social Behavior

Despite some old-fashioned gender dynamics with men talking down to and bossing around women, the ultimate message of the film is positive: People can change for the better. Also, parents cannot completely control their kids. And true love conquers all.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

In several scenes, characters are shown drinking, often to excess. Reporters in a group all appear to be tipsy; some are shown drinking whiskey directly from a bottle. The hero is drunk on two other occasions and once is told to "sober up." When she's upset, the heroine rapidly consumes several drinks. Most characters smoke frequently: cigarettes, cigars, and a pipe.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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