Homosexuality In Faulkner's It Happened One Night

1296 Words6 Pages
It Happened One Night (1934) depicts the aspects of American life during its time while cleverly softening the blatancy of the sociocultural references with humor, wit, and romance as, what many refer to as, the first screwball comedy. The film was made during the great depression, which was a time of cultural significance in America. There are many scenes throughout the movie that show signs of this. The separation of classes was a big deal during the time period of It Happened One Night (1934), and is shown frequently in the movie through creative outlets. Specifically, in the first scene, the waiters on the boat appear to be very timid around Ellie and her father. Then, later in the opening scenes, Ellie’s father demeans his staff by calling…show more content…
For example the scene in which Peter and Ellie put on fake and spur of the moment fight in order to get rid of the detectives, and then afterwards, when Peter buttons up Ellie’s blouse. The director manages to build the sexuality and attraction between the two characters without making them come in any real physical contact or partake in anything immodest, according to the standards of that time. The bond between the two is strengthened during the harmony of their performance in front of the detectives. As Michael Oleszczyk says in his analysis, “Peter and Ellie first click as a couple when they act out an impromptu scene to dupe the detectives sent by Ellie’s father. The entire mock-fight, taking place in a camping bungalow amidst lovingly depicted morning disarray, serves as the first instance of intimacy that’s enjoyed by both Peter and Ellie” (Oleszczyk 2013:2). Then the viewer can feel as the attraction builds further as Peter is kneeling and looking into Ellie’s eyes as he buttons her blouse back up. There has never been so much sexual tension from putting clothes on. Another way that the film goes beyond Hollywood norms is the discussion of every day things that would typically be seen as dull, but instead turns them into interesting discussion that furthers the relationship between the characters. As the New York Times reviewer of the film stated, “…is blessed with bright dialogue and a good quota of relatively restrained scenes” (Hall 1934:1). For example, when Peter teaches Ellie the “proper way” to dunk a donut. Normally, this would be seen as a mundane scene, but instead the wit exchanged during the lesson deepens the connection and shows the harmony between the

    More about Homosexuality In Faulkner's It Happened One Night

      Open Document