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James Whale at his Most Bizarre (and Fun!)
Film-Fan10 June 1999
"Remember Last Night?" is a movie relic from an era when Hollywood stars held a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. (in this case, MANY drinks...)

Director James Whale (best remembered for "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein") opens his film with the wildest alcohol-drenched party ever put on celluloid. The plot thickens the next morning when one of the partygoers is found dead..and no one can recall anything about the previous evening (hence the title of the movie!) Robert Young and Constance Cummings star as the upper-class ringleaders of the pickled partiers with Edward Arnold playing the frustrated detective trying to solve the case.

Poking fun at excessive drinking would never fly in today's politically correct world, but in 1935 James Whale pulled it off flawlessly!
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REMEMBER LAST NIGHT? (James Whale, 1935) ***1/2
MARIO GAUCI12 April 2006
Despite its mixed critical reception and box-office failure (when it premiered at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, a place which I passed on several occasions while I was there a few months ago), this is one of director James Whale's favorites among his own films. It's a cross between screwball comedy and murder mystery and plays almost like a zanier version of THE THIN MAN (1934).

The first 20 minutes are totally insane depicting a wild society party in full bloom, where eternally tipsy socialites are seen sipping champagne through straws from a large bowl and knocking off trays full of glasses just for the hell of it - besides indulging in some very politically incorrect behavior by, among other things, continuously humiliating their uptight and openly contemptuous English butler and dancing around in blackface! The pacing sags here and there but, overall, it's a disarmingly hilarious concoction with a frenzied stream of verbal gags which is often hard to keep up with; in light of all this, the intricate plot with its many red herrings and variety of suspects (including a rather surprising villain) seems of secondary importance.

Whale also cheekily inserts a couple of in-jokes (and at least one overtly gay reference) at the expense of his past horror output by name-dropping the likes of THE BLACK CAT (1934), BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) and DRACULA'S DAUGHTER (1936). Interestingly enough, the film was shot very quickly during a delay in the start of production of Whale's subsequent film, SHOWBOAT (1936) - which had arisen so as to give time to Irene Dunne to finish shooting another major Universal production of the time, MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1935) - and, in the first place, Universal had only reluctantly greenlighted REMEMBER LAST NIGHT? once Whale had agreed to do DRACULA'S DAUGHTER in return (more on this later)!!

The film is highlighted by a bizarre hypnosis sequence in which Prof. Karl Herman Eckhardt Jones (Gustav von Seyffertitz) attempts to induce the party guests to recall the events of the previous night because they're all too hungover to do it by themselves! The elaborate décor courtesy of top Hollywood set designer Charles D. Hall (including a life-size barge for a bar!) gives the film a visual stylishness strikingly akin to Whale's magnum opus BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.

REMEMBER LAST NIGHT boasts a sharp and witty script - co-written by Dan Totheroh of THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER (1941) fame - and a great cast of character actors with the delightful Constance Cummings - real-life wife of Whale's THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) scriptwriter, Benn W. Levy - Edward Brophy (hilarious as a "reformed" safecracker turned amateur sleuth and busy body) and Arthur Treacher (the befuddled butler, of course) standing out in particular. It's also worth noting that Whale managed here to fill out his cast list with several other vintage horror regulars like the aforementioned Brophy and von Seyffertitz, Robert Armstrong and Rafaela Ottiano, not to mention his own fixture, E. E. Clive! Besides, there's also a priceless uncredited bit from frequent Laurel and Hardy foil, Tiny Sandford as a disgruntled truck driver.

Sadly, this has only been the second (or is that third?) non-horror James Whale film I've watched (although I should be adding two more before long) but it does make you wonder whether the time has come for Universal to honor one of its most eminent past film-makers with a "James Whale Collection" DVD Box Set. All those in favor, raise their hands now!
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Better Than You'd Expect
LomzaLady5 April 2006
When I saw the opening credits announcing "A James Whale Production," I thought - yes, there will probably be outsized and grotesque sets, just like in Frankenstein. I wasn't mistaken. The weird decor of the house and restaurant where the action takes place is a movie in itself. The entire film plays like one big in-joke, like the sorts of things film studios put together to show to employees at Christmas parties.

But that doesn't mean this movie isn't funny, and enjoyable. The two lead characters are the boozy, over the top kind that you know are going to get into more trouble than they can handle. To me, they were sort of a combination of Nick and Nora Charles, and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Their wild party was one of the wildest you'll ever see on film, and no nudity or foul language, either. Of course, there is the matter of that really tasteless, racist bit at the party. I suppose in 1935 some would have considered that funny, but it is painful to watch.

I really liked Constance Cummings. The only other thing I've seen her in is Blythe Spirit. She was very good here in a screwball mode, and she was cute and perky without being obnoxious about it. Robert Young was winning as her not very much more sober and serious husband. The whole mystery with all the suspects in one house thing was pretty silly, but I really think it was supposed to be. This film is to be viewed with tongue in cheek. It's a joke, and a funny one. It has all the stock characters you would expect to find in such an old-fashioned mystery - the rich and careless, the hardbitten law, the ex-con and suspicious (but innocent) servants, and that great, supercilious, snooty butler. Arthur Treacher was the master of that genre. I thought it was hilarious the way he made all those snide comments whenever he turned his head from his employers. The dialog is really very funny, and goes by fast, but not too fast.

I thought the funniest scene by far was where the hero is racing his car to get home, and he almost collides with a truck at a road construction site. The truck driver lets loose a stream of curses, without actually uttering any four-letter words. And listen carefully for the very last thing he says -- well, I won't give it away -- it caps the whole scene and makes it even funnier.
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Remember Last Night? 1935-Comedy-Mystery
unclebobbyq-123 March 2006
An enjoyable stylized film directed by someone who really put his mark on his films (James Whale). There is even a satire on one of his films as Constance Cummings says to Robert Young, "I feel like the 'Bride Of Frankenstein' ". Edward Arnold was terrific as always. Robert Young never did a film where he wasn't good. Out of the 100 films he did he was always great. Young actors should study him and watch his films from the beginning of his career and watch his talents grow. Edward Brophy brought in the comedy relief and also never disappoints. Robert Armstrong as the 'Driver' has come down to be an underrated actor, was also great. Sally Eilers was also a great comic-dramatic actress. The other supporting actors including Reginald Denny, Arthur Treacher, Jack LaRue, Gregory Ratoff, Dewey Robinson, E.E. Clive were wonderful. We don't have these wonderful character actors today. They made each picture very special,including this one.
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Detecting Under the Influence
Alonzo Church27 March 2006
This is one of the more bizarre screwball comedy/mysteries to emerge from the studios in the wake of the detecting/drinking classic, The Thin Man. It's as if somebody said, "let's show what jobless rich people would act like if they really drank as much as Nick and Nora Charles do and tried to solve a mystery." And then someone said -- "let's get James Whale to do it! After all, Bride of Frankenstein really is, at heart, a comedy!" And, the resulting film, "Remember Last Night?", is, at heart, a horror film -- perhaps the scariest film about drunks made before The Lost Weekend. The film follows the drinking and detecting adventures of Robert Young and Constance Cummings, who, after a night of wild partying and obnoxious, boorish drunken behavior, find that their host has been murdered, and that they can't remember what they did the night before. Robert fortunately has the sense to call in his old friend Edward Arnold, who helps Young solve the mystery.

The mystery plot -- which isn't too bad -- really is subordinate here to the setting, characters, set design. Most of the "comedy" -- delivered by characters who are plastered and who are extremely insensitive to those around them -- is rude and, in one scene, incredibly racist. Anyone who spent any time in a frat house, or with the privileged fellow who has had about four or five too many, would recognize the "comedy". This unfunniness actually seems to be a deliberate choice by the director. (As is the cold and ugly set design.) Props here to Arthur Treacher, who plays (surprise) Robert Young's long suffering butler. He and Edward Arnold seem to be the only characters who haven't lost their humanity to drink. Suitably, the close of the movie belongs to Treacher, and the way Young and his buddies react to him.

This is an easier movie to respect than to like. It would make an intriguing double feature with La Dolce Vita.
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Strikingly dark comedy-mystery
mgmax5 October 2006
Report from Cinesation 2006: REMEMBER LAST NIGHT? (****) The notes suggested that James Whale sold this idea to Universal by comparing it to The Thin Man-- but it's The Thin Man as written by Evelyn Waugh, a tale of bright young things drinking and partying fast enough to keep despair at bay, and a reminder that Whale belonged to the same generation of artists formed by World War I who produced things like The Sun Also Rises and Goodbye To All That.

A group of young friends party the night away on a series of amazing Art Deco sets, and when they wake up in the morning, one of them has been murdered. As the mystery-plot mechanics take over, it loses some of its brittle, dark charm, relying on Arthur Treacher in the Thesiger part as a mordant butler for laughs. But at its best this is one of the most striking comedies of the 30s, energetic and gay (in the old sense-- mostly) and often very funny, yet worldly and almost bleak at the same time. If only the solution of the mystery could have paid off the film's tone thematically. The collector's print shown, incidentally, was 16mm, but could have been 35mm for how beautifully it showed off the film's remarkable sets.
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A paean to drunk driving and racism
dennisb-621 March 2006
It's a wild party all right, with a lot of content that would curl the hair of the average movie- goer nowadays. While we in the 21st Century have been brutalized to boredom by the sight of a person's entrails being blown via shotgun blast onto the walls like some kind of macabre Rorshach, these folks would have been mortified at such a sight. But abuse people? While mid-party, even before the first piece of significant action, we are treated to profligate drinking, both individual and group (You have to see this to believe it.), impaired driving, racism (The most embarrassing and shamefacedly tacky minstrel-take-off I've ever seen!), vandalism, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and dangerous driving.

Notwithstanding, the movie is an instructive social exhibit of a time when, during the depth of the worst depression in history, these brutes marauded carelessly while the world burned around them. Never has a house staff been so clearly cast as in utter disgust of their employer's very existence.

Overall, a terrific example of its time. Fun, too, even if it's darn near too nasty to live.
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Far From Whale's Best But Intriguing
This odd item is sandwiched chronically between two of my favorites within their genres: It came right after my favorite horror movie, "Bride of Frankenstein" (to which its lead character alludes.) And it was right before my very favorite musical, Whale's heartbreaking "Show Boat." It has a great cast. Conusance Cummings, whom I saw on Broadway four decades later in a Tony-winning role in "Wings," is a delight. Robert Young is not the husband I'd see her with but he's fine. Edward Arnold, the friend who's called in to solve a murder or two, is one of my favorites. Jack La Rue is handsome and mysterious as a chauffeur and Arthur Treacher is very funny as the butler.

The movie captures Jazz Age rich people's lives better than almost any other I can think of. "The Wild Party" has it too. Young and Cummings drive a gorgeous Bugatti. They resemble the couple in "Topper" to some degree but they're more dissolute; the script pushes their charm on us less. It's all Champagne, furs, swimming pools, antiques, and lots of flirtation with danger.
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Nick & Nora Knockoff
PeterPangloss1 April 2006
This film seems to be an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the Thin Man, which came out the previous year, and while Young and Cummings are fine, they can't match either the urbanity or the chemistry of Powell and Loy. The acting is generally top-notch, although Sally Eilers' overwrought hysteria becomes really grating after awhile.

The drinking here seems more witless and reckless than in the Thin Man; at one point speeding drunken driver Young barely misses being flattened by a train, resulting in general hilarity among his passengers. Several times he is shown going 90 mph while plastered, once with a police detective as a passenger! All very cute in 1935, I guess.

There's a lot of amusing 30's banter, especially in the early part of the film. The plot is of the usual type for a murder mystery of the period, with the suspects gathered in the drawing room, and the announcement of the murderer's name, although there are some twists. I did think it was just a little bit too much to believe when the detective allowed the apparently guilty party to get a smoke from their own cigarette box--resulting in silly, cheap theatrics that added nothing to the plot.
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Ask Jeeves
krorie22 March 2006
Though a nifty little murder mystery with a novel theme, "Remember Last Night" is lame in the comedy department by today's standards. One wonders why other writers haven't thought of this angle for a who done it: Following a wild night of revelry with drinking aplenty someone ends up killed in cold blood but none of the suspects remembers a thing because of the effects of the booze. Now with hangovers, the revelers wonder about themselves. Each one is a suspect; plus each one suspects himself/herself.

After one of the most debauched party nights on celluloid that even puts Fellini's "Satyricon" to shame, Tony and Carlotta Milburn, who make Nick and Nora Charles look like teetotalers, wake up not only with hangovers but with a corpse in one of their beds. The Milburns, played with suave playfulness by Robert Young and Constance Cummings, attempt to sort out the happenings of the night before. Ultimately, they decide to call in an old friend, Danny Harrison (Edward Arnold), to investigate. Twists and turns abound in a skillfully written script from the mystery standpoint.

Where the film goes awry is in its attempt to be a comedy thriller in the manner of "The Thin Man." Much of the humor is forced. The intended comic lines are often silly and mundane. Especially grating is the performance of the penultimate butler, who really did play Jeeves at one time, Arthur Treacher. One grows tired of his continual "Yaa Sar" on every exit. This time the butler really did do it: He murdered the movie.

As was unfortunately the case in so many movies of the 1930's, racial stereotyping is flagrant in an unnecessary black face routine during the party sequence at the beginning. And though the rich are depicted as wasteful, disrespectful of the law, and too lazy to do their own work, this is pointed out by the two law officers who visit the Milburn mansion to serve warrants on the reckless couple.

If the viewer can stomach the more unsavory aspects of "Remember Last Night," he/she will be rewarded by the suspense and mystery of the actual murder case.
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"I feel like the Bride of Frankenstein!"
utgard145 June 2017
Comedy-mystery about a murder following a night of hard partying from a group of young ne'er-do-wells. Fast-forward sixty years and this might feature people being eviscerated and a bouncy heroine in a revealing tank top running for her life. But these were (thankfully) simpler times so, instead, we get the great Edward Arnold coming in to investigate the case. It's one of those grand old "no one leaves the crime scene until I solve the case" murder mysteries, told with style and wit by the master of both, director James Whale.

It's an enjoyable movie with a really good cast that includes Robert Young, Constance Cummings, Reginald Denny, Robert Armstrong, Edward Brophy, Jack La Rue, Rafaela Ottiano, George Meeker, and Sally Eilers, among others. But Eddie Arnold is the scene-stealer, as was almost always the case with him. The only reason I don't rate it higher is the "cute" gets old after awhile and I found myself wishing they would wrap it up about twenty minutes before they did. Still, worth a look for anyone who ever wondered what a murder mystery would be like if you filled the cast with characters from a screwball comedy. Also, I love the references to Bride of Frankenstein and Dracula's Daughter. The former was, of course, Whale's masterpiece. The latter was the movie Universal head Carl Laemmle, Jr. wanted Whale to direct. To get out of it, Whale pushed Laemmle to let him adapt a novel called The Hangover Murders. That became this film.
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If you like James Whale movies where everybody acts like they're in a James Whale movie....
calvinnme2 September 2016
...then this is a James Whale movie that you will like! Riding high after Bride of Frankenstein (a film mentioned in the dialogue) James Whale chose to make this bizarre mating of The Thin Man with The Old Dark House, partly so he could get out of directing Dracula's Daughter (also mentioned here - did any other director so love in-jokes?).

Rich, spoiled, and zany socialites Robert Young and Constance Cummings attend a drinking party with their equally alcoholic Long Island friends (Whale lovingly shows them cavorting among some mind-boggling art-deco sets) and perform such charming antics as destroying expensive furniture, driving drunk, and firing a cannon at a passing ship. The next morning the party goers wake up to find one of them has been murdered, but they were so drunk they can't remember what happened (the film is based on a novel called The Hangover Murders, but the Hays Office would not permit that title to be used).

Cummings and Young remind me as much of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald as Nick and Nora Charles, and the wild party seems like a nostalgic holdover from the 1920s. It's hard to be believe depression audiences would be entertained by such aimless and destructive shenanigans. Perhaps Whale identified with the characters' self indulgence.

Cummings and Young aren't even the main sleuths - that role belongs to Edward Arnold, who storms into the film after the party section and proceeds to bellow and bark his way through the role. Arnold could show charm even as a heavy in films like Diamond Jim and The Toast Of New York, so I choose to blame his misjudged performance on Whale.

Aside from Whale, this film's main interest comes from its sets, its alcoholism, and the presence of the under-appreciated Constance Cummings, who might have been a major star if she had not left the US for the UK with her British husband, screenwriter Benn Levy. This and Harold Lloyd's Movie Crazy were her best Hollywood roles.
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Cheers to you Constance Cummings
kevin olzak10 January 2014
1935's "Remember Last Night?" was James Whale's follow-up to "Bride of Frankenstein," adapted from a story called "Hangover Murders." The wonderful cast is led by Robert Young and Constance Cummings, playing Tony and Carlotta Milford, who spend their anniversary with friends on an elaborate drinking orgy that extends all across town. Morning finds them awakening in the home of Vic Huling (George Meeker), only to discover their host in his bed, not asleep but dead. Tony decides to call in his friend Danny Harrison (top billed Edward Arnold) to perform a quiet investigation without any police interference, since everyone involved are friends and no one can recall the events of last evening's debauchery. In his usual role as long-suffering retainer, Arthur Treacher gets to show his contempt for their wild drunkenness, stealing every scene with his priceless asides. Gustav von Seyffertitz ("Son of Frankenstein") provides an eerie sequence as a mesmerist who puts everyone into a hypnotic state to ferret out the killer, unsuccessfully. Frank Reicher plays the coroner, and E. E. Clive his photographer, begging for the corpse to be moved so he can get a clearer shot on the bed! For all Whale's comic swipes at the degradation of the 'idle rich,' his cast makes it difficult to actually dislike them; certainly both Robert Young and Constance Cummings can boast a chemistry that compares with William Powell and Myrna Loy. Young had debuted opposite Bela Lugosi in 1931's "The Black Camel," and later played Boris Karloff's son in "The Guilty Generation," while the exceptionally lovely Constance (forever making charming faces at her supportive husband) had played opposite Karloff in "The Criminal Code," "Behind the Mask," and "The Guilty Generation" (where she played Young's soon-to-be wife). Were it not for her dual roles opposite Harold Lloyd in 1932's "Movie Crazy" (she calls him 'trouble'), I would have to regard this film as her finest in Hollywood, which she would soon abandon for England, on the heels of her 1933 marriage to screenwriter Benn W. Levy, who not only contributed to this script but also two previous Whale features, "Waterloo Bridge" and "The Old Dark House." Interestingly, Levy's only credit as director, 1932's British "Lord Camber's Ladies," was also the only film that Alfred Hitchcock produced but did not direct.
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brings back memories
Alec Kitroeff5 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this 1935 movie as a Greek twelve-year old in Alexandria, Egypt where I grew up, and I have never forgotten it -- because of the cast which contains many of my favorite actors and mainly Arthur Treacher (who is unjustly trashed by another of your reviewers). Ever since it became possible to own and view movies on VHS and DVD I have been trying to get a copy of this one but to no avail. I even sent IMDb an email asking if you could help me find it but got no reply. Then, lo and behold, I found it the other day on a web site entitled, on sale for $14.99. I ordered it immediately and have just enjoyed seeing it again after all these years. I am sending you this in case there are any other old codgers like me around and who might remember and want to see it again.

Best regards, Alec Kitroeff
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DVD Release PLEASE!!
SeriousMovieCritic30 January 2010
James Whale's work in Hollywood is largely swept under the carpet by Universal. Except of course for his "Frankenstein" movie.

"The Road Home" and "Remember last Night" are both (along with some other of his films) excellent entertainment and were butchered by Universal back the. I have written to scholars and Entertainment Moguls such as Robert Osborne and the Head of Universal Studios to release a restored Box Set of his work.

I sincerely hope that Universal Studios will follows in the footsteps of Warner Brothers who recently have been releasing some of their classic movies as Box Set (such as the W. Powell / Myrna Loy Collection) - or as MOD (Manufactured on Demand). Warner has great success with this franchise and I hope that Universal will wake up as well and follow that example. The most recent releases of "UNIVERSAL VAULT" titles are tired, too few and not worth mentioning.
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Great advertisement for Alcoholics Anonymous
blanche-215 August 2006
When a man is found murdered after a night of carousing, a husband and wife set out to solve the crime in "Remember Last Night," a 1935 film directed by James Whale and starring Robert Young and Constance Cummings. They certainly did a lot of partying in the '30s, but the partying in this film is on a new level. Everyone is so drunk that the next morning, no one can remember a thing about what happened the night before and how one of their friends ended up dead.

"Remember Last Night" is along the lines of the Thin Man (with more booze, if you can believe it), "Fast and Loose," "Star of Midnight," etc. - the lighthearted man-woman crime-solving genre so popular in the '30s. What sets this one apart is the shameless drunkenness, which raises drinking to a new art form, and an appalling display of people wearing blackface masks and talking jive in one part of the movie.

Constance Cummings and Robert Young play the couple, and they're delightful. Cummings is beautiful, sophisticated, and sparkles as the wife. An accomplished stage actress who lived to be 95, Cummings appeared as Mary Tyrone to Olivier's James in an acclaimed "Long Day's Journey into Night" and in her seventies toured the country in "Wings," about a stroke victim. Here she is young and dazzling. Robert Young does very well in a role normally played by Robert Montgomery or William Powell - he's younger, and gives the part just the right playful touch. He lived to be 91, so maybe there was something in whatever passed for booze in the movie. Edward Arnold, Reginald Denny, and Arthur Treacher provide solid support.

This is a somewhat convoluted mystery - it was hard to follow even being sober, so just think what the characters went through. If you can get into the spirit of it (pardon the pun), it's fun, and as well, it's a great commentary on the times - and how they have changed.
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Constance Cummings at her best
vandino110 April 2006
This is worth seeing for the delightful performance of Constance Cummings, an unheralded actress whose film career is only fitfully recognized (mostly from her outstanding work in 'Blithe Spirit' and 'Battle of the Sexes'). But this is a Constance from many years before those films, younger and prettier and just as full of life. Not that this film is a classic by any means. Robert Young is fine, but Edward Arnold snarls through his role as Young's detective buddy, and Arthur Treacher spends his entire time coming in and out of scenes repeating, with a muttering disdain, other characters' lines of dialogue. Funny the first couple of times but he never stops. And Ed Brophy has done his obtuse sidekick routine one too many times. Getting past the blackface bit and the alcoholic haze, both of which were acceptable back then, this film does have a 'Thin Man' charm at times. Regardless, I'm a fan of Constance Cummings after this film.
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The Idle, Frivolous Rich!!!
kidboots16 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Remember Last Night?" was billed as a sophisticated melodrama with laughs and boasted of four murders and an attempted suicide as a group of hard drinking socialites, after a wild night spent in an alcoholic haze find themselves involved in murder. It was lovely to see Constance Cummings really let her hair down as a wacky champagne drinking society girl and Robert Young, as always was at his dependable best, but to compare them to Nick and Nora Charles is laughable. The film had not much charm and while I am not familiar with James Whale's background, he seemed to be taking a satirical look at the idle rich but his direction really floundered. The only actors who seemed believable in their roles were Sally Eilers and Robert Armstrong as a sister and brother who had fought hard to shake off their shanty town background. And of course Arthur Treacher as the acidic tongued butler, whose tones dripped with sarcasm. Nick and Nora could fit in anywhere - from Park Avenue to Skid Row, Tony and Carlotta (Young and Cummings) seem caught in a time warp from the Roaring Twenties. I can't imagine this movie being at all popular with the average audience from the mid thirties for which the depression was still very real. Had James Whale lost touch with the movie going public??

Tony and Carlotta wake up with a massive hangover to find their host dead. No one can really remember their movements and unfortunately things look bad for Tony - he was seen wandering around during the night with a knife and the chauffeur finds a blood stained rag in Tony's Bugatti. But everyone has a motive - the victim, Vic Huling (George Meeker), hadn't been particularly kind to his wife (Eilers) and their driver, Flannagan, (Armstrong) was getting pretty fed up about it. Vic had also been heavying Billy Arliss (as played by Monroe Owsley, he was just a hyped up bundle of nerves) for money he thought Billy owed him.

Edward Arnold makes an appearance playing Edward Arnold, I mean police chief Danny Harrison but he could have been playing a racketeer for all the light and shade he gave the role. With him is Ed Brophy as surprise, surprise, a bumbling side kick. Tony enlists the aid of an eminent hypnotist (Gustav Von Seyffertitz) who is bought in to hypnotise each guest. "One of them was faking" he proclaims and is just about to announce the murderer when he is killed. Anyone familiar with programmers from the mid thirties will have no trouble picking the guilty party!!

The liquor flows freely, surprisingly in a mid 1930s production - even at the end when Arnold chastizes them for drinking, stating "This is how this mess started in the first place", - the last shot of them is grabbing a bottle with the promise of "one last time". Constance Cummings was so much better in the 1940 "Busman's Holiday" with Robert Montgomery as Lord Peter Wimsey. Although she only appeared for less than a minute as Batiste's (Jack La Rue) not quite blind mother she made her part memorable.
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Lives of the rich and worthless...
MartinHafer10 January 2017
It's a very strange thing when you watch many films from the 1930s. Although the Depression hit everyone very hard and unemployment hovered around 30%, you sure wouldn't think this was the case when you watch most Hollywood films today. Many of them featured happy- go-lucky rich folks cavorting if it was the best of all possible times. Most featured middle-class folks. And, oddly, few films featured the poor...despite MOST people being so very poor! Now I do understand that Hollywood was trying to sell optimism and folks wanted escapism but sometimes I find it hard to believe just how many obnoxious rich folks are the leading characters in many of the films. "My Man Godfrey" centered around a wacky but oddly likable rich family but other films, such as "Remember Last Night?", featured folks who were thoroughly detestable....and the sort of folks the populists of the era thoroughly hated. But not only the leftist...MOST folks watching the film would have thoroughly hated these spoiled rich jerks...and that must have made this film a very hard picture to sell to the general public.

When the film begins, a young couple, Tony and Carlotta (Robert Young and Constance Cummings) are invited out for a riotous party with their rich and worthless friends. The party consists of the folks dressing up like black people* and slumming it as well as making a lot of noise and then running amok--driving drunk and incredibly recklessly as well. By the time the evening is over, any sane person would want to see the lot of them in prison! Fortunately, one good thing comes of it...when Tony and Carlotta awaken they discover one of these useless party-goers is dead. To make things worse, it turns out everyone was so wasted at the party that no one has any idea what happened the night before and the death is unexplainable. Soon a bright district attorney (Edward Arnold) and his addle-brained sidekick (Eddie Brophy) arrive to try to unravel the mystery. And, although they have no training whatsoever, Tony and Carlotta decide to try to help.

Based on what I've said so far, it's not surprising when I say that a huge strike against the film are the rich folks. While I am very much a capitalist, these sort of folks are awful and it's hard to care at all about any of them. In fact, I found myself hoping that the murderer would strike a few more times!! I really think the writing was the problem---having the folks get drunk and not know what happened isn't a bad plot device. But having them all be so worthless and hateful is something that SHOULD have been softened in the script.

So is the film watchable despite this serious problem? Well, on the positive side the cast is pretty good and the detective and his sidekick better than usual for a mystery film. And, when they aren't acting like spoiled, um...jerks, Young and Cummings are also pretty good. Plus, the film was directed by a competent director, James Whale of "Frankenstein" fame (which is funny as one of the lines in the film references the Bride of Frankenstein). But the isn't terrible but isn't enough to overcome the premise about the spoiled rich brats. At times, it's pretty good--with some snappy dialog. At other times, unfortunately, it's overwrought and silly. As a result, I see it as a film that wastes some talent and should have been better had the characters been at least halfway likable and relateable.

*While this scene might have offended just a few in the theaters in the 1930s, today it's enough to give most modern viewers coronaries! Yes, it IS in very bad taste and yes it IS very racist. While I love the good 'ol days, some things about them weren't so good...and it's a truly cringe-worthy part of the film.
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Michael_Elliott7 March 2008
Remember Last Night? (1935)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Above average whodunit from director James Whale about a group of rich people who drink the night away and then the next morning one of them has been shot to death. The only problem is that they were so drunk none of them can remember a thing. This is probably the weakest Whale film I've seen to date but there are a few interesting moments but the humor really lets the film down. The actually mystery is pretty good and remains interesting up until the very end. The biggest problem is the humor, which is flat from the start and never picks up. There's an outrageous blackface dance number, which has to be seen to be believed. The cast are all strong but it's Robert Armstrong who steals the show. On a side note I already knew about the joke to Bride of Frankenstein but was caught off guard to the joke about Dracula's Daughter, which Whale was suppose to direct the following year but backed out.
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