It Happened One Night
December 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
- Consideration of the film’s role in establishing the genre of the romantic comedy film
- Investigations into the film’s persistent sexuality and its creativity in avoiding Depression-era censorship
- Establishment of the cultural, economic, and political context of a film that directly addresses the Depression and class issues
- Exploration of how the film invokes and develops the stardom of Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert and how this stardom intersects with the film’s topics of gender, genre, sexuality, and class
.Introduction: Little Picture, Big Classic.
Legends and a Legendary Hit.
Adaptation: "Night Bus" to Sleeper Hit.
Capra and Authorship.
1. Rules and Unruliness: Romantic Comedy.
Gender and Genre.
Screwball Characters Meet Cute.
Intimacy, Violence, and Marriage.
2. Sex and Censorship: The Wavering Walls of Jericho.
The Hays Office and the Production Code.
Censorship and the Power of "It".
Constructing the Walls of Jericho.
The Walls Tumble Down.
3. Capra, Class, and the Runaway Heiress.
Hollywood and the Great Depression.
The Runaway Heiress.
Capra and Class Politics.
4. Stardom: Shirtless Gable, Classy Colbert.
Cave Man and a Menace to Morals.
"Who Do You Think You Are? Clark Gable?"
Tough Dame, Lovely Frog.
The Runaway Bride.
Maria DiBattista, Princeton University
“What a wonderful read! Mizejewski’s witty and lucid study of It Happened One Night offers a knowledgeable introduction not only to this important film but to the genre of romantic comedy and the scholarship it has inspired.”
Kathleen Rowe Karlyn, University of Oregon