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November 1995, Week 3


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Joe Weinmunson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 15 Nov 1995 17:48:22 -0600
text/plain (31 lines)
I saw the 1934 film "It Happened One Night" with Clark Gable and Claudette
Colbert last week, and it struck me that the movie was made at a turning
point in visual evolution.  While well photographed and acted, the editing
was unbelievably clumsy by modern standards, with many unnecessary transition
shots.  I think many talented filmmakers were still making the transition
from the visual language of silent pictures, prevalent only six years
before, to a medium where the spoken word was the main narrative source.
The film stands as an awkward monument between the traditions of
"Metropolis" and "The General" and the classical editing that defined
Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s.
Incidentally,only "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" tied "It Happened One
Night" by winning the big 5 Oscars (actor, actress, director, screenplay,
and picture).  It's often cited as a milestone of romantic comedy, but I
found the characters painfully unlikable compared to the Grant-Hepburn
films of the same era--even Andie MacDowall in "Four Weddings and a
Funeral" was easier to take than this :->.
        * Joseph C. Weinmunson III      *  "If I can't dance to it, I  *
        *                               *  don't want any part of your *
        * [log in to unmask]     *  revolution."--Emma Goldman  *
        *                               *                              *
        * Louisiana Scholars' College   *  Them bats is smart--they    *
        * Natchitoches, LA  71497       *  use radar.                  *
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