7.7/10
3,330
53 user 31 critic

Remember the Night (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 19 January 1940 (USA)
A shoplifter and her prosecuter fall in love, creating tensions in their family lives.

Director:

Writer:

(original screenplay)
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On TV

Airs Fri. Dec. 22, 10:00 PM on TCM

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mrs. Sargent
...
...
Francis X. O'Leary
...
Willie
Charles Waldron ...
Judge in New York
...
District Attorney
...
Tom (as Charlie Arnt)
...
Hank
...
Mr. Emory
...
Rufus (as Snowflake)
...
'Fat' Mike
...
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:

THE LAW SAID SHE WAS BAD...HE SAID SHE'S TERRIFIC! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

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 more 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

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 25, 1940 with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck reprising their film roles. 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: I suppose you do this with all the lady prisoners?
John Sargent: Oh my, yes. My life is just one long round of whoopee.
Lee Leander: Well, you're in a good spot for it.
John Sargent: Wonderful! I merely have to raise my finger and my slightest whim is satisfied. Now if you'll...
Lee Leander: And I suppose if anybody says no, you just put them right back in the cooler.
John Sargent: That's right. Look when court reconvenes, I'm going to try my best to put you in jail for a good long time. That's my business, but you haven't been convicted yet, so I don't see why...
[...]
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Connections

References Svengali (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)
(1851) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Fred MacMurray (piano and vocal)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dewey Wouldn't Approve
13 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

Watching Remember The Night I remembered something else that audiences might have forgotten in 1940 in seeing this film on screen. The District Attorney of New York County was one Thomas E. Dewey who was definitely not one for mixing business with pleasure. If one of his Assistant District Attorneys went bail for a prisoner he was prosecuting and took her home for Christmas and across a few state lines to boot, that man would not have had a job and Dewey wouldn't have cared about reasons of love.

But with a script by Preston Sturges and direction by Mitchell Leisen you could forget about reality and concentrate on Christmas romance. Leisen assembled a great cast of character players in this very charming comedy/drama. And you can't miss with leads like Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in the first of four films they did together.

MacMurray's the ADA who's prosecuting Stanwyck for shoplifting and this ain't her first offense. But a combination of her beauty and charm and one flannelmouth defense attorney has him feeling sorry for her and then going her bail and taking her home because, after all it's Christmas.

They have an eventful drive to Indiana where they both coincidentally hail from and MacMurray himself winds up a fugitive from a speed trap in a hilarious sequence. And the two see the kind of homes each came from, something that prosecutors and criminals don't often see from each other's point of view.

Beulah Bondi and Elizabeth Patterson play MacMurray's mother and aunt and are quite the contrast to Georgia Caine who is Stanwyck's cold hearted mom. Spencer Charters does a good job as the speed trap judge in Pennsylvania.

My favorite however is Stanwyck's attorney Willard Robertson who is really carried away with himself as her lawyer. He's giving her a defense on the shoplifting charge that Clarence Darrow gave Leopold&Loeb. Man does love to hear himself talk. But his talk keeps the trial over the holidays allowing cupid to work.

Stanwyck and Sturges became friends and he confided in her that he would be directing as well as writing soon and next year he might just have a project perfect for her. The project turned out to be The Lady Eve according to a recent biography of Stanwyck.

Remember The Night is a charming film by some charm masters. But I suspect that Thomas E. Dewey probably hated it.


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