It Happened One Night

I sat down and started working on an answer key for an exam.  I didn’t finish it before I went out grocery shopping.  I fell asleep during my lunch hour, but managed to go out there and complete my shift.  One of the women at work told me that she wasn’t impressed with the movie “Brooklyn.”  I was glad to leave and return home to listen to a bit of the Warriors game on the radio.  It seemed that they were well on their way to winning, so I turned off the radio and watched the Criterion Collection Blu-ray disc of “It Happened One Night.”  It was the Frank Capra classic, and at times it felt like it was more than 80 years old.  I was thinking about the newspapers and the cars there.  I wondered about certain things that happened in the film.  How could Ellen swim to the shore and not get caught?  Where did she get her change of clothes and the suitcase?  How is it that her outfit doesn’t get dirty when she sleeps in the hay?  I didn’t really like seeing Claudette Colbert with her short hair.  Was she really someday who would be attractive in the eyes of a reporter like Peter Warne?  Supposedly, Bette Davis wanted the part of Ellie.  I could see this being a good movie with her in it, although I’m not sure that I would want to look at her legs.  Clark Gable fit his role as Warne quite well.  I liked hearing him talk about his views on donut dunking and hitchhiking.  On the donut dunking he was right, because nobody with any sense would leave the donut in the coffee long enough to get soggy.  It was amusing that he would use words like “hooey” or make the gesture of thumbing his nose.  I associate those things with Charlie Chaplin.  Gable had another funny moment that involved spitting.  I hope this spitting didn’t inspire the spitting that we saw in James Cameron’s “Titanic.”  I noticed quite a bit of silence on the soundtrack, which was characteristic of early sound movies.  I thought that Gable had a god scene with the editor when he returned the money and said the story was a gag.  The scene with the bus passengers singing along to “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze” reminded me of the scene in “Almost Famous” with everyone singing “Tiny Dancer.”  I imagined people on a bus today, all looking at their phones.  I can’t imagine a bus full of people all knowing the words to any single song.  I kept thinking about the rope and the blanket.  I thought the blanket must have been very light because the rope looked like it was horizontal.  I also thought about the cost of everything, if four dollars was supposed to last a long time.  Ten gallons of gasoline must have been very cheap back then.  Watching Ellen at the end made me think of Julia Roberts in “Runaway Bride.”  Also, the ending of “The In-Laws” came to mind.  According to many people, this was the first screwball comedy in movie history.  It’s funny how Colbert didn’t like the movie.  When I look at her credits, the only other movie I would want to see again is “The Palm Beach Story.”  Colbert went on to appear in “The Egg and I” in 1947.  She was in “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles” in 1987.  She lived for a long time, making to age 92.  She died in Barbados on July 30, 1996.  Clark Gable died in November 1960 at age 59, and his son was born in March 1961.  Frank Capra won three Best Director Oscars in five years, for “It Happened One Night,” “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,” and “You Can’t Take It with You.”  He received directing nominations for “Lady for a Day,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  He would also live into his nineties, but he suffered a stroke in 1985, and died on September 3, 1991.  He was buried at the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery.  I think I first saw “It Happened One Night” sometime around 1981 and thought it was funny.  When I told a friend about it, he asked me if it was a porn movie.  I was never sure what the title was saying.  I think I came to like movie such as “Bringing Up Baby” and “The Lady Eve” more than the Capra films, as far as your screwball comedies went.  You don’t see too many stars like Clark Gable in the movies.  I think of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was the definitive Capra film.  Watching it again was an enjoyable little diversion that took my mind off my troubles for two hours.  I was sleepy and not feeling so good about another day of class.  I heard about the long waiting list to buy Warriors season tickets.  I was not so eager to buy tickets to the second round of playoffs.  It is expensive, and we still might not see Stephen Curry at all.  The rain stopped, and we are supposed to experience high temperatures during the afternoons this weekend.  The A’s home dates have giveaways of a calendar, a gnome, and a pair of socks.  I could use the weekend to not think about work for a while.  I saw that the movie “Keanu” was opening, but I will not rush out to see it.  “Purple Rain” is playing in my neighborhood, and I think it’s in the same theatre where I originally saw it back in 1984.  Some of the people who died on April 28 include Ed Begley, Sr. (1970), Rory Calhoun (1999), Ken Hughes (2001), and Tommy Newsom (2007).  Today is a birthday for Kim Gordon (63), Jay Leno (66), Alice Waters (72), and Ann-Margret (75).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 28, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” won the Tony Award for Best Play and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1963.  In 1975, John Lennon’s final televised interview, an appearance on Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow show, was aired on NBC.  Also in 1975, Ringo Starr’s performance of “The No No Song” on The Smothers Brothers Show was broadcast on CBS.

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