Directed by Frank Capra and winner of five academy awards, including Best Picture, It Happened One Night stars Claudette Colbert as Ellie Andrews, a spoiled heiress who flees her overbearing father. While on the run among the common folk, she’s helped by the street smarts of Peter Warne (Clark Gable), a down-on-his-luck reporter who secretly is looking to sell the heiress’ story. The most shocking thing about It Happened One Night – aside from the realization that romantic comedies were once smart and funny – is Gable’s snappy comic performance. The debonair, polished Rhett Butler is nowhere to be found, replaced instead by a gangly, grinning clown (albeit still a handsome one). Colbert, meanwhile, makes Ellie smarter than she is written (if only contemporary actresses had this ability). For most of the film she’s asked to play the flighty female, but there are scenes – as when Ellie and Peter pose as a bickering married couple – in which she gets to show off her considerable improvisational skills. Colbert and Gable are a delight in this and just about every scene together. They’re clearly enjoying each other’s company – entertaining each other as much as they are us.