‘It Happened One Night’ (the original movie that inspired at least 4 Bollywood movies that I can think of) is a must watch for any movie buff. But this 1934 classic is also famous for its unintended consequences – from inspiring the characterisation of Bugs Bunny to dramatically plummeting the sale of sleeveless vests; the later being the topic of our Needull.
In the middle of this movie, in a first-of-its-kind undressing sequence, Gable decided to let go of his sleeveless undershirt as it was causing problem with his dialogue delivery. The undershirts were a universal thing back then and some sources say that within a couple of years of the movie’s release, due to Gable’s revolutionary decision not to wear vest, its sales dropped to over 80% and the very concept of such vests was obsoleted (the vests came back in fashion after World War II but in the T-shirt form, while the sleeveless form continued only in tropical countries like India). Today’s Needull revisits this ‘rumour’ and investigates the truth in it, based on old newspaper clips and industry statistics.
Those who spread the fact cannot prove it. Those who disagree cannot disprove it. This is how conspiracy theories are born. Both sides can only offer evidence though they usually only offer supporting evidence.
Immortal Ephemera – Cliff Aliperti
Movie clip of the above scene – Youtube
Bonus Read: Jim Carroll’s blog on the above and other idiosyncrasies related to the movie