Go Ahead and Shoot…As Far As Killing Me, Well, I Don’t Think You’re That Good a Shot: Possessed (1947)

Well, go ahead and shoot. Mathematically, the chances of your hitting me are slight. And as far as killing me, well, I don’t think you’re that good a shot.

So I was watching the lifetime film Widow on the Hill, which is based on the true story of a hospice nurse who ended up marrying her wealthy patient’s husband (after the patient died) later being arrested for his murder after he died under suspicious circumstances. It was not a bad film, but all I could think as I was watching it was that it reminded me of a film I saw years ago, Possessed, starring Joan Crawford and Van Heflin.

***Side Note***: This film is nothing like the 1931 film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, yes Joan Crawford is the only actress to ever have been in two completely different films that share the same name.

This a film-noir which you know I adore. It deals with mental illness, Joan and the director visiting different psychiatric wards to make sure they depicted things accurately.

Wow!

Anyways, the film starts off with Louise Howell (Joan Crawford) roaming the streets having suffered a psychotic break and saying the name “David” over and over again.

She gets picked up and taken to an asylum.

Dr. Harvey Williard: It was pain that made her this way.

Yes a man damaged her-poor girl. We then get a flashback to how her life was before.

Louise was a nurse hired to help the horrible, mean, invalid Mrs. Graham. True she is sick, but how she treats and accuses Louise constantly of cheating with her husband- makes Louise hate Mrs. Graham and every day of her life.

Believe me, living with that abuse it horrible. Every day is hell on earth.

Dean Graham (Raymond Massey), the husband, is kind and caring-very friendly. But Louise isn’t interested. Truth is, she would have left a long time ago except for one thing-David.

David Sutton (Van Heflin), is the handsome, engineer, next door neighbor and started a relationship with Louise. He doesn’t really care for her, but to Louise it is love. She becomes more obsessive, more possessive, more desperate-hoping to hold on to him, hoping to marry, hoping to be taken away from this life.

Except in this situation Louise is the desperate one.

David grows tired of her not understanding “the game” and leaves for a job in Canada. Louise begs him to take her with him, but he refuses-not wanting anything to do with her.

David Sutton: I’m sorry, Louise. I seldom hit a woman, but if you don’t leave me alone, I’ll wind up kicking babies.

I hate men like that:

Ugh

Louise becomes more and more distressed and finds it harder to keep her life together. Especially with Mrs. Graham on her back. One night when Louise is gone, Mrs. Graham drowns herself…or does she. Hmm…

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Louise is going to leave, but Dean asks her to stay on to help with his kids, college age Carol and little Wynn. Carol, however, hates having Louise here as she believes her mother’s accusations about Louise and her father. Louise wants to leave, but Dean convinces her to stay on.

However, Louise is suffering from hallucinations and starting to break a little. She keeps thinking she hears Ms. Grahame’s voice.

Later David returns and is surprised to find that Louise remained on with the Grahmes. Louise is thrilled to have him back, but he rebuffs her.

Louise Howell: [on meeting again after long separation] Aren’t you going to kiss me?

David Sutton: I had no plans one way or the other.

Louise Howell: All right, then. Go ahead and kiss me. You don’t have to mean it. [He gives her the briefest peckI didn’t expect you to mean it that little.

David Sutton: When a woman kisses me, Louise, she has to take pot luck.

This guy! UGHHHHH!!!!

Dean however, has fallen for Louise and wants to marry her. She tells him that she does not love him and probably never will, but he is fine with that. He will take her anyway he can:

He believes that through time she will grow to love him.

Carol apologizes for her accusations, and it looks as of Louise and her might have a good relationship. But one thing ruins it all:

One day they are out and run into David. David couldn’t care less about Louise buts finds Carol intriguing.

David Sutton: [upon meeting Carol again who he last saw when she was a bratty 11-year-old girl, but is now a shapely 20-year-old woman] Let me look at you. Mm-hmm. Well, you… you haven’t grown very much, but… then again, you have.

I can’t stand him!!! Why do they like him??????

Louise begs off early with a headache, but when she gets home starts hallucinating. She believes the two to be in love and plotting against her.

As she is a nurse she goes to a psychiatrist to see what is going on with her. When doing so she finds out that she suffers from schizophrenia. She goes to Dean to try and get him to divorce her, but he refuses, he loves her. He takes her on a vacation but it doesn’t go well.

They go back to the old house, where the former Mrs. Grahame died. There Louise starts to have a complete psychotic breakdown. She believes the first wife is after her, that she is telling her to kill herself.

She admits to Dean that she killed Mrs. Grahame. Mrs. Grahame went on the water and started drowning and Louise did nothing. Dean tells her that it is false, that she was in the village and nowhere near Pauline.

So this is interesting, the film leaves it open up to us to decide. Was Louise in the village and just suffering from her psychotic break? Or did she really murder Mrs. Grahame and pretend to being in the village? Hmmm…

But then Carol and David announce they are going to marry. And Louise loses it.

She completely breaks down and does all she can to stop it. David won’t listen to her so she tells Carol all about her and David-that David is in love with her, But Carol won’t believe her.

They decide to admit her, but Louise eludes them and goes to see David. She can’t stay away from him, she can love none but him. If she can’t have him then no one can.

David doesn’t believe she will do it, but Louise proves him wrong.

And you know what, I’m glad. He was an awful man.

We then pick up where the film begins. The doctor is going to treat her and Dean will stay by her side. He really loves her no matter what. It’s sweet and sad.

Its a great film, Joan Crawford is amazing and just does all she can to lead the film. Van Heflin is a great bad guy and a total scumbug being. I recommend it.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

For more film-noir, go to The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

For more Van Heflin, go to Why Didn’t You Stop Me, Sam? You Know How Much I Hated Her! Why Didn’t You Stop Me?: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

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Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

B is for Best-Selling Novel

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Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

When it came to look for a Best-Seller to put on the list I decided to start first with 1916, as that book would be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

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But I didn’t see any I was a very big fan of so I went to 1926. Nothing there as well.

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I decided I would then check 1936 and if I couldn’t find a book I was a fan of I would try 1896, then 1886, then 1876, and then go back to 1946 and on and on until I finally found something.

However, I stopped at 1936 with Gone With the Wind.

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Gone With the Wind was published in 1936 and at time sold 176,000 copies. It was a best seller in 1936 and 1937, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, and by 1938 sold a million copies. In 1939 the film came out and the book sold two million copies.

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My first introduction to Gone With the Wind was when I first watched the film when a friend and I were going through AFI’s list of the best films. We made it to #15 before we became too busy and haven’t finished doing it since.

Oh well.

Oh well.

Anyways, I watched it and thought the movie was really good. The cinematography was absolutely stunning, it was full of good quotes, and Clark Gable was just amazing as Rhett Butler (funny thing is Margaret Mitchell didn’t want him as she thought he wasn’t handsome enough to be Rhett).

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I didn’t care for Scarlett as I thought she was a…

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And thought she was just horrible, not Vivian Leigh’s performance but her.

Then three years later, as it was on my reading list, I decided to read it, borrowing my mother’s copy. And when I read it I was amazed at how it was a truly fantastic book!

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And I believe that everyone should read it at least once.

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So the book is a huge epic! It follows the Irish O’Hara clan from the father’s immigration into the new world and settling in the South, the radical changes from the Antebellum period, to the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era.  At the heart of all this chaos is the story of the beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

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So let’s list off why one should read this book:

A) Shows How the Irish were Viewed in America

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So we start off with Gerald O’Hara, head of the clan. Back in Ireland he was a part of a Catholic Emancipation group, like the Ribbonmen or such and ends up having to flee because of his political activities. He comes to America and isn’t always treated very nicely, as the Irish weren’t. Often they were made fun off, not allowed in certain areas, and thought to be taking over jobs. He starts working in his brother’s store but what he really wants is land, the very land that was denied him back in Ireland as no Catholic Irish could ever own anything.

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He eventually wins a plantation in a poker game and spends a long time building it up and having it be one of the richest ones in the area. He then decides to marry, but while these Southern families enjoy his wealth and propsperity; none could ever think of marrying their daughter to an Irish immigrant who’s family is unknown. The only thing for him to do is try to find a woman somewhere else, as he returns to his brother for help in finding a bride.

Yes, most don’t realize this but the wealthy South wanted to be like the old manors of Europe. Be the master of the land with pure bloodlines of other wealthy families, not bringing any low class in, and very racist against any that weren’t established in their group. This kind of racism against the Irish and Catholics went much farther than the South and was seen all over the country. Many times Irishmen and women had the lowest class jobs, found it hard to get land and keep it, and found themselves competing against African Americans who would work for lower wages (in the North). While Gerald O’Hara does extremely well, a lot of Irish weren’t able to ever reach that, especially in the South at this time.

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B) Scarlet O’Hara

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Scarlett is a Southern women in the Antebellum period and has very little schooling. All that is expected of her is to marry well and have plenty of children. But Scarlet has always felt different and out of touch with the time she lives in.

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She is extremely intelligent and has great business acumen. In fact it is often remarked that if her brain had been born into a boy she would have been able to go far.

Scarlet doesn’t have life easy either. With the Civil War she finds herself becoming a nurse, a midwife, and eventually has to take on the plantation or risk starvation. Because of those experiences it makes her hard, as with the book we see how she is constantly worried if things will turn out alright, if they can make it, or if they will be back to starvation; everyone looking at her to take care of everything.

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That is an incredible burden to be laid on a teenager (as she is about 17 or 18), let alone one who’s education was “how to look her prettiest”. She becomes tough because if she doesn’t, none of them will survive.

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When the home is attacked, she defends it shooting the deserter and protecting the home and people.

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Now she does steal her sister’s boyfriend, so she has faults, but she does it because she has foresight none of the others do. He has a hardware store, but when Scarlet takes over she also creates a lumber mill, triples the money, and is able to provide for everyone. Even though she accomplishes all this everyone still tells her she isn’t being a lady, running businesses and doing better than her husband. They try to convince her to stop, but she keeps on doing it. Using her “ladies mind” which contains a powerful way with numbers.

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She continues to be this strong, forceful woman throughout the rest of the novel; even though she does make a lot of bad personal decisions. Still, for a woman in the 1800s to have her own business, earn her own money, choose who she will marry (several times), is pretty awesome! She is a powerhouse of a character.

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C) Not as Racist as People Think

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People had slaves and if a book mentions it, that is not racist. In fact in this book the slaves aren’t really shown to be stupid, slow, or other clichés; except Lettie who is mentally disabled (something we understand more now than we did then). There is the house slave who didn’t want to work in the fields, but being a house slave was seen as better than an outdoor slave and slaves on the inside often treated the field slaves as being lower class.

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In fact this book isn’t racist to African Americans, but points out racism and hypocrisy that African Americans faced from those who were trying to free them. It is often remarked that while the North wanted the Southern slaves to be free, that did not mean they actually wanted to work with those freed slaves or have them near. There were plenty of racist people living in the North fighting for African American rights, but if they were near an African American they would still treat them cruelly. Mitchell points this out when the new Republicans brought in by Reconstruction say they would never have an African American nanny their children as they have “diseases” and “uncouth ways”. In fact they would much rather ship over an Irish immigrant than ever let their child be touched by someone black.

What jerks

What jerks

Many say that Mitchell started this “Mamie” stereotype  creating a myth that all Africans were pleased with being slaves; which Mitchell does not do. Like The Help, which by the way everyone loved and praised, she shows that because the nannies lived in the house and raised the children they sometimes became like family. It didn’t happen with everyone, but in this case Mamie was a mother to Scarlet more than her own mother.

Also people are all different and have their own views, even if they live in the same area. Mitchell presents a look at the many ways people regarded slavery; indifferent as Scarlet, necessary as Mr. O’Hara; and how some treat African Americans rudely, cruelly, or like family.

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D) The Person You Love are Not Always True

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Scarlet is in love with Ashley Wilkes, but they could never marry as her blood (Irish) is too inferior for the Wilkes family. He is to marry none other than his cousin, but instead of flat out saying that to Scarlett, Ashley likes how this beautiful woman who everyone wants loves him and leads Scarlett on, trying to make sure her “flames of love kept burning” because it made him feel good. He was such a jerk and a coward! I mean we’ve all had guys like that who say “they would make the commitment”, but their life isn’t quite together yet. They haven’t reached their plans. And then when you try to move on, they always snag you back, bemoaning that if only things were different; trying to get you to wait for them.

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They get their poisonious hook into you and keep you.

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My friend was in the snare of a guy like Ashley for three years. He would go on about how they couldn’t be together, she deserved someone better; but as soon as she started to move on or see other people he would pop in about how much he cared about her. Constantly stringing her along in this cycle.

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Thankfully she finally realized it or she would have been like Scarlett constantly pining after something she thought she needed when the real prize laid before her. It is horrible, and this book really teaches you the errors of being stuck on someones hook.

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E) Stop Looking to the Past

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Like most people, Scarlett gets stuck in the past. All she can do is think of Ashley and wish of Ashley.

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How many of us have had a broken heart and instead of realizing how that person wasn’t right and deciding to move on, we cling to the past dreaming, wishing hoping. How many of us waste our time like Scarlett?

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Scarlett was so consumed with her dreams and thoughts of the past that she was blind to the person who really loved her, that if she had only let her dream of Ashley die and stop mooning about him she would have seen how much better Rhett was for her.

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F) Never Be afraid to Say How You Feel

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Everyone talks about Scarlett’s blindness and how she was unable to see what she has but you know who was a real coward? Rhett! Rhett never told her he loved her until the very end. Maybe if he had not been so afraid to admit his real feelings and told her the truth about how he felt instead of distancing himself for the fear of her breaking his heart or lording over him, then they might have had a chance at true happiness.

Yes it can be hard to be vulnerable, or share your heart with others. Things can go very wrong of the person doesn’t care. But they can go just as bad of you say nothing and let the person you love pass you on by.

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G) Hold On to Tomorrow

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As Little orphan Annie says, “So you got to hang on ’til tomorrow, come what may!” Even after all she’s been through, Scarlett has an optimism that seems to go against everything else about her. She has faith that in tomorrow things can change. Life is hard now but in the flip of a dime it could turn out better. This kind of optimism we should instill in our life as well. Anything could happen tomorrow, don’t give up as things can get better.

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To start the 30 day challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

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For more on Gone With the Wind, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more on Margaret Mitchell, go to I Will Survive

For more Ayn Rand quotes, go to The Power is Yours

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Today’s carol is O Little Town of Bethlehem. Phillip Brooks visited Bethlehem in 1865 and three years later wrote the poem, asking his organist Lewis Redner to write the music.

“As Christmas of 1868 approached, Mr. Brooks told me that he had written a simple little carol for the Christmas Sunday-school service, and he asked me to write the tune to it. The simple music was written in great haste and under great pressure. We were to practice it on the following Sunday. Mr. Brooks came to me on Friday, and said, ‘Redner, have you ground out that music yet to “O Little Town of Bethlehem”? I replied, ‘No,’ but that he should have it by Sunday. On the Saturday night previous my brain was all confused about the tune. I thought more about my Sunday-school lesson than I did about the music. But I was roused from sleep late in the night hearing an angel-strain whispering in my ear, and seizing a piece of music paper I jotted down the treble of the tune as we now have it, and on Sunday morning before going to church I filled in the harmony. Neither Mr. Brooks nor I ever thought the carol or the music to it would live beyond that Christmas of 1868.”

Amazing. Now it is famous and such a part of the festive year. My favorite version is the Nat King Cole one.

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For more Christmas carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

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I can only pick 5?

I can only pick 5?

26) Five Guys Who You Find Attractive

This won’t be easy. Only five guys? I’ll try my best. Here we go, my five swoonworthy guys.

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5) Jensen Ackles

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So starting it off with one I’m sure anyone who’s not blind can agree on, Jensen Ackles is one beautiful man. This green-eyed, gorgeous, guy is the stuff dreams are made of. Wow, that’s all I can say, WOW.

For more on Jensen Ackles, go to Don’t Objectify Me!

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4) Laurence Olivier

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The picture of elegance, class, and one of the Sexiest Brits to live on this earth. He was my first Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff; setting a high bar for those to come. One truly attractive man.

For more on Laurence Olivier, go to One of Many

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3) Michel J. Fox

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First fell in love with him when I saw Back to the Future. The smooth, slick, hot; yet somewhat adorable and vulnerable actor just stole my heart. Continued watching his films, and loving him more and more.

For more on Michael J. Fox, go to Back in Time: Happy 30th Anniversary Back to the Future

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2) Jimmy Stewart

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Tall, debonair, with a heart of gold. Not only was this guy good-looking, but the sweetest thing. I just love him so much, words cannot express it.

For more on Jimmy Stewart, go to I’ll Give You the Moon: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

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1)Clint Eastwood

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What can I say that this picture doesn’t. Look at this man. Tough, rugged, man of action, and as hot as hot can be. Delicious.

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Now he may not be as delectable now as he was then, but this man still holds a huge place in my heart.

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The first actor I fell in love with, the first picture poster I hung on my wall (The Outlaw Josey Wales) this man is my penultimate.

For more Clint Eastwood, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

I Don’t Want the Money: It Happened One Night (1934)

Romantic Moment #7

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It Happened One Night (1934)

This is one of my all-time favorite romantic films. First of all it is by one of my favorite directors, Frank Capra, and fav actors; Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. I just love this trio, especially when they are all in one film.

Ellen “Ellie” Andrews (Colbert) is a spoiled heiress who is tired of living under her father’s restrictions. She married the first guy she could, fortune-hunting “King” Westley. Her father has sequestered Ellie until her can get her an annulment. She only has so long to get to New York  and reunite with King before the annulment is finalized. She escapes from the yacht that has been her prison and takes off, boarding a bus.

Peter Warne (Gable) is a journalist and on the outs with his boss. He needs a really great story, an exclusive, in order to make things right. He and Ellie end up sitting next to each other and Peter figures out who she is. He makes a bet with his editor (sound familiar?) that he has a great story, the best ever; and goes on to talk to Ellie. He gives her the option of him 1) going along with her and writing a heartfelt story about the power of love, etc or 2) he will turn her in and collect all the reward money. Needless to say Ellie chooses the first option.

Soon the two are partners in this endeavor. Ellie’s money and luggage are stolen and she has to rely on Peter to help her, since she has no clue what she’s doing. Later, Ellie gives a poor family  the rest of Peter’s money, leaving them completely broke until they can get to New York. They soon have to leave the bus as one of the other passengers recognizes her and they have to walk through the forest. Later they have to hitchhike, Colbert doing the famous “leg scene“. They get picked up, but then the guy tries to steal their luggage and Peter has to go after him. He comes back with their stuff and the guys, finding a place to stay. Throughout this adventure the two start to fall in love (the first film to do the “two who hate each other love each other in the end after being stuck with each other”). That night, Ellie tells Peter she loves him, but Peter doesn’t say anything. Instead, he waits until Ellie is asleep and takes off. He gets all the way to his editor in New York and sells him the story; wanting to tell Ellie how he feels but not wanting to do that with nothing to his name. He wants offer Ellie more than himself (although all Ellie wants is him not money or anything more.) Peter and the editor spend the night working on the story of his and Ellie’s adventures and their love. Meanwhile, Ellie wakes up to find Peter and the stuff gone. Thinking he walked out on her she calls her dad, who at this point is so happy to see her that he doesn’t care of she wants to marry the mimbo King, but will even throw her a new wedding, since he is so happy to have her back. Peter and Ellie pass each other, Peter on his way to see Ellie, and Ellie on her way off with King. Peter thinks Ellie didn’t want him and both are mad and hurt at the other. Ellie is about to have her wedding, but her father (who had met Peter) convinces Ellie that Peter loves her. He tells Ellie that he has everything ready for if she wants to take off. Ellie does and is reunited/married to Peter.

Favorite Romantic Moment:

Now this film has quite a few, but this is one of my favs. Ellie’s father is so thankful to have her safe and back in his life he decides that Peter should get the reward money. After all, if Ellie hadn’t had Peter she would have been molested by men on the bus (Peter saved her from them), starved (Peter gets her food, even digging up carrots when they had nothing), etc. Peter comes but instead he refuses. He doesn’t want a single thing, other than what he spent on Ellie.

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Now I know that this is a movie cliché we see in lots of films, Pretty Woman, Anastasia, etc. (this was actually the first film to do this); but let’s think about the time this film takes place. 1934. That’s right, smack-dab in the middle of the Great Depression. I mean think about how bad the unemployment is right now. Imagining it? Well it is, at the worst as it depends by state, is 4.8%. In 1934, it was 21.7%. That’s really bad. So here is a guy who has no job as he not only was on the outs and fired in the first place, but then his exclusive story turned out to be naught. So here he is with no job, no money, and no options. But instead of taking the reward, thousands of dollars, he takes nothing. Only $39.60 as reimbursement.

So romantic!

So romantic!

He loves her so much that he can’t have their time and memories tainted. Instead he’d rather be poor. How romantic! He has honor, morals, and principles! ❤

Alexander Andrews: Oh, er, do you mind if I ask you a question, frankly? Do you love my daughter?

Peter Warne: Any guy that’d fall in love with your daughter ought to have his head examined.

Alexander Andrews: Now that’s an evasion!…Do you love her?

Peter Warne: A normal human being couldn’t live under the same roof with her without going nutty! She’s my idea of nothing!

Alexander Andrews: I asked you a simple question! Do you love her?

Peter Warne: YES! But don’t hold that against me, I’m a little screwy myself!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[as he walks Ellie down the aisle, Mr. Andrews talks to her]

Alexander Andrews: You’re a sucker to go through with this. That guy Warne is OK. He didn’t want the reward. All he asked for was $39.60, what he spent on you. Said it was a matter of principle. You took him for a ride. He loves you, Ellie. He told me so. You don’t want to be married to a mug like Westley; I can buy him off for a pot of gold. And you can make an old man happy and you won’t do so bad for yourself. If you change your mind, your car’s waiting at the back gate.

I LOVE this film!

For more on It Happened One Night check out My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on Frank Capra go to Bringing the World to Your Backyard

If you liked this post, check out On the 8th ‘Til of Christmas  and the 9th Day ‘Til Christmas