POSTER FOR 1934 CLARK GABLE SCREWBALL COMEDY EXCEPTIONALLY SCARCE
It Happened One Night is one of Hollywood’s most important and influential films.
Released in 1934, the movie starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert is considered the first true screwball comedy. It routinely makes lists of the greatest films ever made and is the first of only three films to win all five major Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.
It was director Frank Capra’s breakout film. It is considered one of the earliest road movies. It’s inspired countless other films, from Laurel and Hardy’s Way Out West to Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs to Sex and the City 2. On top of that, animator Friz Freleng once hinted a character in the movie who calls the Gable character “Doc” was the inspiration for Bugs Bunny.
“It certainly has the goods to be considered one of the greatest films ever made,” says Grey Smith, Heritage Auctions’ director of vintage posters.
For the first time, Heritage Auctions is offering an original Style A one-sheet for It Happened One Night at its July 24-25 movie posters auction.
“Although it’s one of the most influential films of the 1930s, one-sheets from this wonderful screwball comedy are exceptionally scarce,” Smith says. “Fans of classic comedies should make sure they don’t miss out on such a rare offering.”
Other Hollywood treasures in the auction include a Style D one-sheet of MGM’s 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. “The Wizard of Oz was one of the most popular movies of its day,” Smith says. “But original release posters are in woefully short supply, and one-sheets are among the scarcest formats and most highly sought formats.”
Heritage has offered only one other Style D one-sheet for The Wizard of Oz; it sold for $65,725 in 2015.
Another treasure up for auction is a one-sheet for Mickey Mouse and Pluto in Society Dog Show (RKO, 1939).
“Society Dog Show is the last appearance of Mickey in his original design. His white face and simple oval eyes subsequently were replaced with a tan coloring and a more complex eye shape,” Smith says. “Mickey’s imminent design change certainly makes this poster a special milestone in the history of Disney animation.”
This story appears in the June 2021 edition of The Intelligent Collector.