Tag Archives: It Happened One Night

A Pod, a Pod, a Pod for You

IMG_1780Hello? Is this the Podcasts Anonymous support group?

I am sure (or hope) that I am not alone here in saying that I listen to — hold on let me turn off this episode of Spontaneanation — podcasts all the time (when I’m showering — a distraction that I am sure increases my likelihood of being murdered by a serial killer, just like in the movies —  driving, cleaning, as a saving grace when I have to shop at any large retailer on a weekend, etc.) I am also sure I’ve mentioned this fact before and you may consider this a cry for help or take it as a recommendation to join in the fun, at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Seriously, you’re going to develop an addiction from this.

Still here? Okay.

I’ll listen to anything movie or improv-comedy related and I certainly dabble in the true crime and newsy stuff from time-to-time. I’m mostly looking for any show that can serve as an escape from the real world for about an hour, or 10.

My latest obsession is the Craig’s List Podcast, which actually combines movies and a little improv comedy. As a basis for the show, Craig and Carla Cackowski are working their way through Craig’s 100 favorite movies of all time and then discuss them on air. They have guest hosts from the comedy world from time to time and at the end of each episode perform an improv comedy scene based on the film they watched.

The list covers the gamut in film genres and I’m pleased to say I’ve actually seen a lot of Craig’s favorites, from classics to comedy and documentaries to biopics and horror films.

The latest episode combines classics and horror to dissect Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” with special guest composer Jonathan Dinerstein providing comedic and musical accompaniment.

He joined the show to talk about the score that adds the tension and fright to “Psycho” and even plays tidbits of it on the piano in the background.

They also discussed a new documentary about the film “78/52,” which cuts into the intricacies of the infamous shower scene directed by Hitchcock.

I think I know what my next double feature will be. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen “Psycho,” but it’s one of the films with scenes I remember the most from my formative years as a movie lover and Craig’s List took me right back to that place.

Some of my other favorite episodes include their discussion of “Se7en” (Craig does a killer impersonation of Morgan Freeman,) “Diner,” (a lot of factoids about Baltimore in this one,) “It Happened One Night,” “Dead Poets Society,” and “Rushmore.”

Follow Craig’s List Podcast on Twitter to catch up on their episodes and the coming attractions.

In other news, I haven’t watched any movies (in their entirety) in the last week, but I do recommend “Afternoon Delight” starring Kathryn Hahn and Jessica St. Clair. Rachel (Hahn), after a night at strip club with her husband Jeff (Josh Radnor), Stephanie (St. Clair) and her husband Bo (Keegan-Michael Key), befriends one of the dancers (Juno Temple) and eventually takes her in as their live-in nanny.

The film takes a plot line that could be your average raunchy sex comedy and strips it down (sorry) to a story focused on the characters and their happiness, much like “The Overnight.”

As Dr. Steve Brule would say, Check it Out!

Okay, (as John Hodgman would say – more or less) I think that is all for today.

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is on its way in a matter of days and I need to pick out what I want to try to see this year. There are hundreds of options and I’ve missed going to the event the past couple of years.

It may seriously take away from my podcast time, but if I’m lucky they’ll be showing a movie about podcasts.

Bye!

 

 

 

 

 

 

70 of 366: It Happened One Night

ithappenedonenight
imdb.com

It doesn’t get much more romantic than a newspaper headline of “Love Triumphs Again.”

There is much question whether love will in fact triumph in It Happened One Night, making it a precedent-setting romantic comedy before one was released every couple of months with the same formula used over and over again … boy meets girl, one of them messes it up and they fall in love with a friend or find their way back to each other.

Among the classic romantic comedies and films released in the 1930s-1950s I’ve watched during my challenge so far, a lot of them center on a newspaper reporter in need of their next front-page story (Roman Holiday, His Girl Friday) who falls in love with their subject or sometimes a struggling actress trying to make her way in Hollywood who falls in love with a leading man. I have barely scratched the surface of all the classic films I’d like to watch this year, (hit me up if you have a copy of Murnau’s The Last Laugh) but it’s just a trend I’m noticing about early Hollywood.

“It could be one of a hundred routine, American romantic comedies of the 1930s or 1940s,” writes critic Adrian Martin in 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die when describing It Happened One Night.

Peter (Clark Cable) plays the journalist in the film who meets Ellie (Claudette Colbert), a rich girl on the lam from her father to meet her fiancé in New York.

There isn’t so much a love connection between the two characters at first but rather a love-hate connection as they both try to get to New York and face their share of roadblocks along the way.

Peter didn’t need to become a traveling partner for Ellie, but he sees a story in her life and, subconsciously, something more.

The film, released in 1934, was ahead of its time for the genre with a solid script, written by Robert Riskin from a short story by Samuel Hopkins Adams, that mixes some screwball comedy and wit with true romance between two characters whose differences are only on the surface.

It also set a record for winning all five of the top Academy Awards, best picture, director, screenplay, actor and actress, before One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Silence of the Lambs did the same years later, according to Martin’s review.

Claudette Colbert lights up the screen as Ellie and delivers a good share of the slapstick comedy balanced by Clark Gable’s somewhat of a tough-guy persona and dry humor in Peter.

It’s a small scene, but one of my favorites with Peter and Ellie is during a breakfast together when he criticizes her for how she dunks her doughnuts in coffee.

I could see them 50 years from that time doing the same thing, and the next moment arguing about dinner or who would do the chores.

It’s a shame there are so romantic comedies today (I almost can’t believe I said that because I do watch them pretty regularly) and that any originality in the genre is hard to come by or be noticeable. I know there are some, such 500 Days of Summer or perhaps Sleepwalk with Me (honestly just from looking at my shelf of DVDs), but I recommend trying some of the early classics like It Happened One Night to see where it all started.