Remember the Day (1941) Poster

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A Forgotten, Bittersweet Love Story
theowinthrop4 September 2005
This is a very nice little movie that showed Claudette Colbert and John Payne to great advantage as two young teachers who, in 1916, meet in a small mid-western town, teaching at a high school. They fall in love, and we watch the romance blossom into a marriage - the entire effect helped by the nostalgia of a by-gone, simpler era. Parallelling the story we have the story of a young boy that goes to the school and is taught by both Colbert and Payne.

The film is set up with it's heart (the romance) surrounded by a more recent story set in 1940, at the Republican Presidential Convention (a fictional version of the convention). Colbert is there to see the young boy student, who has now grown up. It is not until the film ends that we understand who she is visiting with. And it is not until the conclusion of the film that we get the bittersweet portion of the romance.

The film is very simple, and it's final element for success is that Payne and Colbert had terrific chemistry together. Ironically enough it would be their only film together (one wishes they had done a second film but that was not in the cards for some reason). Also ironically, it's total success should be compared with the comparative failure of TOMORROW IS FOREVER, wherein Orson Welles and Colbert both perform their roles well (in characters very like Payne's and Colbert's here) but lack the spark to make that trickier story more believable.
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A nostalgic piece of great artistry
reelguy217 June 2003
Henry King has directed a nostalgic piece of great artistry that accurately evokes the World War One era in America. Claudette Colbert's wit and charm effectively offsets the potential sentimentality of the story, and handsome John Payne gives one of his finest performances as her love interest.

Lovingly photographed, Remember the Day is a charmer from start to finish.
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Sweet story of a schoolteacher and her two loves
blanche-24 August 2007
Claudette Colbert is a schoolteacher thinking about her past life in "Remember the Day," a 1941 film also starring John Payne, Shepperd Strudwick, Ann E. Todd, Jane Seymour and Anne Revere. As she waits to catch a glimpse of a former student, Dewey Peters, now running for President, Nora Trinell (Colbert) thinks back to 1916, when Dewey was a child in her class, and she had just met another teacher in the school, Mr. Hopkins (Payne). Dewey has a terrible crush on Nora, who sees his true worth right away; Hopkins is in love with her. Kay, a student in Dewey's class, is crazy about him, but Dewey is at an age where he doesn't want any girls around. Besides, he's in love with Nora.

Nora and Hopkins eventually marry secretly, and he signs up for World War I. Dewey is heartbroken when he sees them together. Before going away to prep school, Nora encourages him in his goals and tells him that he is like a son to her. At his request, she goes to see him off at the train, the same train her husband is on en route to battle. The last time we see her in the flashback, she is waving goodbye.

This is a very touching movie with some nice performances, particularly by Colbert, Payne, and Douglas Croft, who plays the young Dewey. The fashions don't look particularly of the period, and as usual, everyone is aged much more than the 25 years that are supposed to have passed. It is true that people look younger today at 50, partly because we fight aging and also because of a youthful attitude, as one of the reviewers states. I still think everyone looked too old, and that includes young Dewey's parents during the flashback, who looked like his grandparents. It's unusual for Twentieth Century Fox to have permitted any aging at all - Zanuck would barely let Tyrone Power have gray at the temples in films with long time spans.

Colbert was actually 9 years older than John Payne, but I was aware of it only because I knew it. She was cast opposite younger men more than once. She is very lovely in this, looking much younger than her 38 years. She really carries the film. Payne, a very well-built hunk, gives a wonderful performance.

The acting really uplifts this film as does the solid directing of Henry King. You may shed a tear or two - if you don't mind that, "Remember the Day" is well worth seeing.
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Fantastic..wonderful memory
garret61229 April 2005
I've been trying to remember the name of this movie

for 30-40- years ,,, and found it tonight ! I've looked before but couldn't find it ..

i remember watching this on TV in the 50's and loved it and always thought about it .. the ending..was to me of the Great movie endings..

the theme of " loyalty' ... is what always stuck with me .... and the people we've met in our life ...who we never forget...

thank you IMDb!!
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Another sentimental Valentine to a schoolteacher...
Neil Doyle19 February 2007
In the vein of CHEERS FOR MISS BISHOP, GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS and GOOD MORNING, MISS DOVE, Fox gave CLAUDETTE COLBERT and JOHN PAYNE a chance to show what they could do in another sentimental tale about the passage of time in a schoolmarm's life and her effect on faculty and students, as well as her remembrance of a lost love.

The good thing about REMEMBER THE DAY is it doesn't wallow in cheap sentiment the way some of the sudsers mentioned above had a tendency to do. Nor is it quite as cheerless. Instead, the script is bright and pleasant for most of the time, giving Claudette and John Payne a chance to create likable characters.

Like so many '40s romances, it's told in flashback as Claudette recalls her romance with football coach Payne at a school where both of them are teachers who never met before. Both have a natural charm that really comes across here with Claudette being the sort of dream teacher everyone should have--warm and thoughtful. And little DOUGLAS CROFT is excellent as her most promising student.

Of course, true love never does run smooth in these sort of things and soon a hint of scandal puts a damper on the Colbert/Payne romance when their moral conduct leads the school president to believe they spent the summer together violating school rules. Colbert rejects Payne's proposal of marriage at first, but later they do wed and he goes off to war.

ANNE REVERE is excellent as a prim and proper spinsterish teacher who misunderstands gossip about Colbert's romance. The period flavor is nicely captured but Alfred Newman's overly busy background score is a bit too schmaltzy for comfort, with old time songs constantly playing away in the background

With Payne joining the service (the Royal Canadian engineers), you know something has to happen to make it an ill-fated romance. Fortunately, the lighter side of the romance keeps the picture from falling into the bathos of many a tear-jerker, saving it from the fate of a film like CHEERS FOR MISS BISHOP.

Summing up: Well wrought sentiment nicely directed by Henry Koster with Colbert at her charming best and Payne as a promising newcomer.
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From Connecticut to D.C. Via Indiana
WeatherViolet13 September 2010
This begins at a political party convention in Washington, D.C., as candidate Dewey Roberts (Shepperd Strudwick) prepares to deliver his speech to accept his party's nomination for a U.S. Presidential bid, when his former schoolteacher, Nora Trinell (Claudette Colbert), arrives to attempt to capture a glimpse of and to offer a note of congratulations to one of whom she feels proud to have influenced during his formative years.

But the program experiences delay, as attendees and a national radio hookup await the arrival of Candidate Roberts, Miss Trinell reminisces of her arriving from Connecticut into a rural Indiana community back in 1915, to instruct her eighth-grade class, which includes three lively pupils: Young Dewey Roberts (Douglas Croft), Kate Hill (Ann E. Todd), and Peter (William Henderson), Nora detaining the three for misconduct after dismissal.

In the meantime, when Nora announces to her class a field trip to the park for a Shakespeare play this coming Saturday, Dewey reports that the school's baseball team has a scheduling conflict, asks to be excused, and runs down the staircase to report to his Coach, Dan Hopkins (John Payne), who decides to have a word with the adamant yet flexible Miss Trinell.

Nora and Dan resolve their differences for now before school Principal, Mr. Steele (Francis Pierlot), as the two instructors begin their secret courtship, beginning with an independent Nora's prioritizing career over romance, and soon jeopardizing each of their careers, as marriage is forbidden for a teacher, according to school policy mandates, in 1915.

Dewey's parents, Mrs. Roberts (Jane Seymour) and Mr. Roberts (Harry Hayden) demonstrate a liking to his caring instructor, as Nora delivers Dewey's assignments during his bout with a brief illness. Upon her visit, Dewey shows Nora the model boats, which his father has helped him to construct, as ship-making has become a common bond between the two from the onset (since Dewey and Peter argued about the brig, the bark and ship rigged vessels, which, of course, Nora would correct, as her grandfather had been a Naval officer. Kate could not mind her own business during the debate, and had something to say about it, which is the reason as to why she had been detained that day.)

Well, fellow instructor Miss Nadine Price (Anne Revere) shares residence at a boarding house with Nora and serves as her confidante of sorts although Nora keeps her mounting feeling about Dan to herself for the most part. Dewey, by now, also admires Nora greatly and dismisses any notion that Nora and Dan are weak enough to fall for each other.

Nora completes her partial term of the academic year to vacation for the summer with Nadine and other female instructors at a resort, at which Nora expresses a lack of interest in playing croquet with Nadine or lounging with the other ladies, so when Dan drives by to rescue Nora, they decide to elope in secret, and to spend the remainder of the summer at a different resort, from whence they each send Dewey a postcard featuring the sailboat, "The Mabel."

Later in the autumn, when Dewey shows Principal Steele the postcards to prove his point after another argument with Peter, Mr. Steele puts two and two together to confront Dan Hopkins, who secretly sacrifices his career to permit Nora to stay on at her post, and so he enlists in the Service and receives his orders to sail to France.

Seasoned with a nice touch of nostalgia, Nora and Nadine light wax candles upon the Christmas spruce, as the boarding house rings in New Year 1916. Dan stops by for a visit, to stroll around the town square with Nora, before his train arrives to deliver him to the docks to sail to France before the U.S. enters WWI.

Eventually, Nora transfers from Indiana to a school in Washington, D.C., at which she teaches for the remainder of her career, and garners additional classroom alumni who attend the gathering for Candidate Dewey Roberts. But amid all of the pressure of facing a national audience, will Dewey also "Remember the Day?"

This also features Frieda Inescort as Mrs. Dewey Roberts, Marie Blake as Miss Cartwright, Selmer Jackson as Graham, William Halligan as Tom Hanlon, and Chick Chandler as Mr. Mason the Reporter.

And the film is released on Christmas Day, 1941, soon after the U.S. enters WWII, to reaffirm sentimental values of patriotism through the eyes of dedicated adults and youths alike.
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Remember the Day- Dewey A Winner Here ****
edwagreen6 September 2007
A marvelous film in the genre of Miss Dove, Mr. Chips and every wonderful teacher you ever had.

The role was just perfect for Claudette Colbert. She really worked magic with co-star John Payne.

This picture really offers Americana circa 1916 in Indiana. The embodiment of the school structure at that time is so well done. The obedient student, the prim and proper schoolteachers who dedicated their lives to teaching and nothing else.

Nora Trinell (Colbert) is a dedicated, wonderful teacher but she goes against what society thought of as a role for teachers when she finds love with Payne.

The "crisis" that leads to his dismissal and his ultimate redemption on the part of the principal is beautifully done here.

For me, the picture was so good because Trinell reminded me of my grade 5 teacher who inspired me in the field of social sciences.

Colbert, as the teacher who found love and tragically lost it, has one of her best film roles here. A caring person to her students, especially Dewey, she certainly tells the truth when she says that each year a teacher finds a student who she can really love as her own. Those words will forever stay with me.

As the typical spinster teacher, Anne Revere, was wonderful. Prone to be a gossip, she embodied what society thought was the role of a teacher in this period.

The ending will tug at your heart. Nostalgic and so wonderfully realized.
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What a lovely and sentimental old picture
MartinHafer23 December 2007
I have long loved Claudette Colbert in films and am a bit surprised that she isn't more well known for her part in this terrific film. While naturally people tend to think of her from IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT and SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (two terrific films), it's a shame more people haven't seen REMEMBER THE DAY, as it offered a side to her that wasn't seen so often in films. Here, Colbert is both more sexual and less motherly than she usually seemed in films. Part of this is because her usual asexual hairstyle is gone and she seems to be more of a real woman with real needs and desires. Frankly, apart from her role in SIGN OF THE CROSS, it might just be the sexiest part she ever played. Now this does NOT mean that she was a slut or a loose woman--far from it. But she just seemed more approachable and warmer than in other films in which she appeared.

REMEMBER THE DAY is also a highly sentimental film about a beloved teacher who makes her mark on students. However, unlike films like GOODBYE MR. CHIPS and THREE CHEERS FOR MISS BISHOP, the focus in this movie is on the effect she had on one particular student--one who grew up to be nominated for President of the US. The sentimentality is strong but thanks to an excellent script, direction and acting, the film seemed more believable, less maudlin and more authentic than most films of the style.

In addition to wonderful work by Colbert, John Payne had one of his better performances and this is a film everyone involved should have been proud of making. A sweet old film that seems to be rather timeless--it's well worth a look.
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Goodbye ,Mrs Trinell
dbdumonteil9 February 2010
This movie may seem old-fashioned today.Two teachers having an affair (this was also the subject of "these three" by William Wyler )causing a scandal ! These three are here a man,a woman and a boy;the movie begins when Claudette Colbert is an old teacher and the rest is a very long flashback ;it is interesting to notice there's something similar in a more recent work such as "Mr Holland's opus" in which a clumsy girl ,Holland's former pupil,becomes a senator.

More than a propaganda movie (WW1 and when the movie was produced WW2),this is a tribute to the teachers:Mrs Prinell is the kind of mistress every boy and girl would like to have (or would have liked to have).Her word reaches far when she tells Dewey he "stands out" but ,like any human being,he is on his own .Perhaps the ending is too good to be true and in real life people who make their way of life often forget the people who helped them along the way,but this is a wonderful ending:I love the moment when Deway mumbles "Mrs Trinell...Nora Trinell..." The boy writing "I beg your pardon" on the blackboard,the white Xmas ,the "auld Lang Syne" on the last day of the year and the train leaving the little town :we'll remember these days.
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An utterly charming, old-fashioned film
vincentlynch-moonoi19 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I'm trying to think if I ever saw a film starring Claudette Colbert that I didn't like. None that I can remember, and this film is no exception. It's an utterly charming story of a school teacher with 2 men -- an elementary school boy that has a crush on her, and a fellow-teacher who marries her. Along the way, the teacher almost loses her job when she spends a summer in the same resort (gasp!) as her future husband. A scandal is averted when the male teacher resigns, but before too long they secretly marry. Eventually, the young boy grows up to be a presidential candidate, and the husband disappears in World War I. At the beginning of the film, the teacher is trying to meet the presidential candidate to wish him well, and at the end of the film she succeeds. In between, the back-story is told via flashback.

Claudette Colbert is wonderful as the teacher...but she was always wonderful! John Payne was excellent as her future husband, and Payne is an actor who may not have been given his due; always dependable. Shepperd Strudwick plays the boy as an adult, while Douglas Croft plays him exceptionally well as the boy.

While I can't quite say this is a "great" film, it's certainly a very, very good one. It only finally popped up on TCM very recently.
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