15 March 2003 | llguidry
Romantic Comedy that sweeps the first year of the Oscars
I have seen this movie a few times over the year and have just recently viewed it again twice on the DVD version. This is a highly recommended movie on several levels. First, it has to be seen because it won multiple academy awards during 1934. It has won at least best actor, best actress and best director. So it should be seen just for it's historical significance if you are into movies as an art form. However, if you are just looking for entertainment then it is simply a great classic romantic comedy. The set up is that Ellie (Claudette Colbert) is a rich, spoiled, independent woman who is running away from her father (in Florida) to join her husband (not quite a complete marriage) in New York City. She meets Peter (Clark Gable) on the bus who is a down & out reporter looking for a big story. They join forces in that he will help her to get to New York for an exclusive on her story. In essence it is the bratty socialite vs the hard nosed -know it all reporter - Can they achieve true love? Just watch the movie and figure it out for yourself.. There is the classical scene regarding the battle of the sexes which involves hitchhiking. There is some dated material because the movie was made in the 30's about the 30's. This may be both good and bad as a viewing experience. Gable is a bit too shallow as a desirable character. He lacks the sensitivity of a guy that would be in a modern romantic comedy. However, his portrayal of Peter is likely typical for the ideal man of the era in that he attempted to be competent and in charge at all times (the know it all guy). The character comes across as too simplistic by today's standards. However, when he gets the feedback on his rough edges from Ellie he shows his nice guy side. Claudette Colbert is great in this movie she had opportunities to display her acting craft as she responded to different situations. The scene in which she and Gable pretended to be basically 'white trash' was very funny. Her getting the best actress award is very evident even without having to see the performances of her rivalries for the Oscar in 1934. Overall this movie is rated a 9.0 and is highly recommended. A viewer may avoid older movies because they lack dept; however, hang in for this one. Once the screen chemistry starts between Colbert and Gable (their first scene together) the rest of the picture is just a joyride of entertainment in watching these two work their magic for the camera. Enjoy this movie it should be an awesome experience.