7.7/10
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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.

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Writer:

(original screenplay)
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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:

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

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 31, 1949 with Barbara Stanwyck reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

When Fred MacMurray is milking the cow, Barbara Stanwick pushes it knocking the thermos from MacMurray's hand. It falls upside down but when the camera returns it is right side up. See more »

Quotes

John Sargent: You threw a lighted match into the wastebasket?
Lee Leander: Well I wasn't aiming for the spittoon.
John Sargent: You know that's called arson?
Lee Leander: No! I thought that was when you bit somebody!
See more »

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

 
A screwball parable that only Preston Sturges could deliver.
1 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

This little-known movie may never be a Christmas standard. There are no angels in it, no churches, no hymns. Indeed, the only religious note is homiletic: "Stealing my mission money" is Stanwyck's mother's accusation against her.

Of course, piety is the last thing anyone expects from the wonderful Preston Sturges, whose stamp is strong throughout--dialog combined of wisecracks and folk wisdom, with every single character made whole and distinct, and a well-paced sequence of scenes that sneak up on you with their emotional impact.

Stanwyck and MacMurray, through screwball plot devices, end up traveling together to visit their rural families for the holidays. As children, it is revealed, each had stolen pocket-money from their mothers. This is a story about how a child's natural selfishness is not a natural wickedness, and about redemption from our past sins. Stanwyck's mother shunned her after the theft, and the scene of their grim reunion is powerfully portrayed, with especially skillful use of light and shadow. In contrast, MacMurray's mother, at their reunion, recalls to him, "Do you remember when you took my egg money... and how hard you worked to pay it back when you understood...?" "You made me understand," he says, and she replies, "No, dear, it was love that made you understand." And that is ultimately the moral: The more love is bestowed, the better the child-- or adult, because it's never too late.

The sentiment is not overdone. This is a neglected Sturges gem, with highlights ranging from a bail bondsman named Fat Mike to the splendidly slender Stanwyck being fitted, frill by frill, into authentic turn-of-the-century ladies' undergarments. Wow.


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