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Remember the Night (1940)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  19 January 1940 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,451 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 26 critic

Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
John Sargent
...
Mrs. Sargent
Elizabeth Patterson ...
Aunt Emma
Willard Robertson ...
Francis X. O'Leary
...
Willie
Charles Waldron ...
Judge in New York
Paul Guilfoyle ...
District Attorney
Charles Arnt ...
Tom (as Charlie Arnt)
...
Hank
Thomas W. Ross ...
Mr. Emory
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ...
Rufus (as Snowflake)
Tom Kennedy ...
'Fat' Mike
Georgia Caine ...
Lee's Mother
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Emory
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Storyline

Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at Christmas time. But he feels sorry for her and arranges for her bail, and ends up taking her home to his mother for Christmas. Surrounded by a loving family (in stark contrast to Lee's own family background) they fall in love. This creates a new problem: how do they handle the upcoming trial? Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BARBARA and FRED in 1940's first great love affair ...!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Recuerdo de una noche  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Leisen, the role of Lee's mother was originally taken by Marjorie Main. When Main's performance proved to be far too broad and overdone, the scene was re-shot with Georgia Caine. See more »

Goofs

In the nightclub dance scene before they start their trip, Jack tells Lee that he is from Wabash, Indiana. She says that she is from Heltonville, to which he responds "That's only 50 miles outside of Wabash", and she says "Yes, sir". Actually the distance between Wabash and Heltonville is about 160 miles. See more »

Quotes

Lee Leander: That gag's so old its got whiskers!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

(Back Home Again in) Indiana
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by James F. Hanley
Lyrics by Ballard MacDonald
Played by the band and sung by an unidentified male quartet at the nightclub
Played also at the barn dance and often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Leisen + Sturges = classic
4 November 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It's fascinating to speculate what Preston Sturges would have done with this film had he directed it himself. He reputedly disliked Mitchell Leisen's treatment, but in this he only proves he was a better creator than a critic.

I suspect Sturges wanted to deliver a typically cynical social satire; something about how the rigidity of law must inevitably give way to the caprices of love (with a plot boldly swiped from Camille). But Leisen brought to the project all the delicate sentiment that Sturges would have shied away from, and turned Sturges' clever parable into a heart-rending, almost Dickensian Christmas fable.

Just as Sturges was a genius of dry wit, Leisen was a master at tweaking the heart-strings, and of creating a magically timeless mood. (See Death Takes a Holiday, for instance.) So in Remember the Night we have a one-of-a-kind fusion of opposites. What results is a remarkable film: understated and clever, yet emotional and heroic. And somehow, amazingly, both hopeful *and* downbeat.

Remember the Night is one of a handful of absolutely indispensable Christmas classics: it deserves to be counted right alongside It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol and The Bishop's Wife. It's less-known than the others doubtless because it's less mystical, less whimsical, and most importantly, because it fails to provide the mandatory Happy Ending. But that's exactly its greatest value.

We've come to set impossible standards for Christmas, and bring only disappointment upon ourselves, year after year. Remember the Night reminds us that Christmas is, after all, just one part of the cycle. It can't magically endow us with Joy Everlasting... but it can allow us a chance to raise our sights just a little bit as our lives tumble inevitably onward into the new year. And that's a *real* miracle, not a storybook fantasy that requires angelic intervention to make it come true.


16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The scene at Lee's childhood home rpatter6
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