British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) -- It happened one night in February 1935 that a film, that had been largely ignored by the critics, romped for the first time in Oscar history to all five top awards. In this final program in the current series, Paul Gambaccini tells the story of the triumph of It Happened One Night.
Joseph McBride, professor of Cinema at San Francisco State University, wrote the definitive biography on director Frank Capra. McBride discusses the social significance of It Happened One Night.
“It was about class issues — about a working-class newspaperman who’s stuck with a snooty heiress who’s running away from wealth,” McBride says. “[Screenwriter Robert] Riskin, one of his themes was, the point is that the heroine doesn’t want all the money; they want freedom. And that appealed to the [Great] Depression audience.”