CULVER CITY— Frank Capra’s 1934 comedy It Happened One Night has undergone painstaking 4K restoration by Sony Pictures Entertainment in advance of its release on Sony’s newly-launched Video Unlimited 4K download service. It Happened One Night, which starred Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, is the first of five Capra films slated for re-release in 4K over the next few years. Those are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lost Horizon, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and You Can’t Take it With You.
The original 35mm negative that served as the basis for the restoration was in poor condition. Rita Belda, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s executive director of asset management, digital mastering and film restoration notes that in the 1930s it was common practice to use original negative to produce film prints for distribution. As a result, the negative suffered from damage due to overuse. Furthermore, a number of damaged scenes had been replaced by poor quality duplicate elements.