Seriously Screwy: The History and Impact of the Screwball Comedy

It Happened one night
By  · Published on December 5th, 2017

It Happened One Night welcomed a new subgenre to the screen.

In 1934, the grand tradition of genre added a slightly mad augmentation to one of its standbys. Existing at the beautiful intersection of the rom-com, the farce, and the satire is the screwball comedy, put into place on screen by Frank Capra’s Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert film It Happened One Night.

The film (and those that would follow) thrived in the comedy of social war. Dialogue was their automatic weapon fire and absurd situations their mortar shells. In the depths of the Depressed ‘30s, imaginative class-bending comedy was a hit.

One Hundred Years Of Cinema’s video essay dissects the film in question and takes most recognizable elements to their modern extrapolations, finding evolutionary steps cementing a grand tradition starting with Capra’s surprise hit.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).