It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night (1934)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
Extras: Commentary Track, Radio Broadcast, Vintage Advertising, Trailers

Columbia TriStar is presenting Frank Capra Jr.s hilarious screwball comedy “It Happened One Night” in a beautiful presentation on this disc in the movies original fullframe aspect ratio. Although some slight registration problems are evident in the transfer, causing the picture to quiver slightly on occasion, the image quality itself is meticulous and without the slightest defects. The compression has been done without any signs of digital artifacting and also edge-enhancement is not visible. The result – a transfer of this black and white film has a great and balanced contrast and a superbly high level of detail that makes you wonder how the film has survived in such great shape.

The disc contains monaural English and Spanish audio tracks that also sound magnificent. As expected, the soundtracks have a limited frequency response without notable bass extension, giving the audio the harsh quality that is consequential for films of this era. Serious noise reduction must have been applied to this movie, as it hardly shows signs of distortion, hiss and the pops and blips you usually find in movies of this age. It has been applied masterfully to this release however, leaving every subtle detail of the audio intact, only removing the noise floor and defects, while leaving the high end fully intact.

It is astounding how well this film has been preserved and prepared for release on this DVD and Columbia can’t be lauded enough for this stunning effort. Not only is this a great movie that deserves this preservation, it is also a timeless and atmospheric testimony to Hollywood’s early days. Don’t miss it!