A Professional Finish
-Like many screwball love-stories, the end - again - places us in a position of dramatic irony as we understand how much Gable and Colbert love each other, whilst they both pretend that they don't want to be together. As a false-close end to the story, we see Colbert to find Gable missing assuming he has left her to contact her Dad and collect a reward which was placed on her safe return, and as Gable drives back from his morning-drive - he see's her leaving with all her fancy-car, assuming she couldn't hack the working-mans life that Gable led. This misunderstanding of each other provides us with some fantastic, sparky dialogue as Warner, though clearly in love with her, will not admit it to himself following the misunderstanding ... it takes her Father to prise it out of him, stating the infamous line in conversation with Ellie's Father:
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!
Peter Warne: She picked herself a perfect running mate - King Westley - the pill of the century! What she needs is a guy that'd take a sock at her once a day, whether it's coming to her or not. If you had half the brains you're supposed to have, you'd done it yourself, long ago.
Alexander Andrews: 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!
This finale lets the audience know that they love each other as they run off together - only to meet up at the hotel they stayed at shortly before the misunderstanding and they reclaim what should have been their night of passion. The 'walls of jericho' that initially separated the two as they sleep - they joke at the end as the 'walls of jericho' fall, post-wedding, and we see the silhouette of the 'walls' fall.
Funny, touching, funny and incredibly romantic. It Happened One Night is one of the best films of all-time - and I think, personally, I prefer the relaxed and playful energy of It Happened One Night to the intensity and grand, epic scale of Gone With The Wind.