20 user 9 critic

A Night to Remember (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Mystery, Romance | 10 December 1942 (USA)
A mystery writer and his newlywed wife move into a Greenwich Village apartment and find themselves with a corpse and a half dozen red herrings.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Anne Stafford Carstairs
Scott Carstairs
Inspector Hankins
Mrs. Devoe
Donald MacBride ...
Polly Franklin
Blanche Yurka ...
Mrs. Salter
Richard Gaines ...
James Burke ...
Pat Murphy


A woman rents a gloomy basement apartment in Greenwich Village, thinking it will provide the perfect atmosphere for her mystery writer husband to create his next book. They soon find themselves in the middle of a real-life mystery when a corpse turns up in their apartment. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE MOST MIRTHFUL MURDER MYSTERY IN YEARS! (original print ad-all caps)


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¡Qué noche aquella!  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Two of the book titles that detective Donald MacBride reads out loud are "Murder in the Laundry" and "Murder in the Chop Suey Restaurant," a clear reference to Sidney Toler's alter ego, Charlie Chan." See more »


Bolling: Yeah, and you admit exchanging blows with him
Nancy Troy: There was no exchange. Only two blows were struck. He struck my husband. My husband struck the floor.
See more »


Spoofed in A Night to Dismember (1983) See more »


March of the Wooden Soldiers
(uncredited) (1903)
Composed by Victor Herbert
Several bars are heard in the scene with the rapier.
See more »

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User Reviews

An Aherne Showcase
12 August 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Sprightly comedy-mystery that holds up thanks mainly to Brian Aherne's expert fumbling with petty annoyances. All in all, he cooks roasts about as well as he opens doors, that is, not without considerable practice. He's supposed to be a mystery writer, but as a real-life sleuth, he's about as effective as an American Clouseau. I think I detect some subtle spoofing of the many amateur detectives of the period (Ellery Queen, The Saint, Boston Blackie, et. al.). And it doesn't hurt that Charlie Chan (Sydney Toler) turns up as a police inspector. Watch Jeff (Aherne) get decked in a fight, get about every clue wrong, get weak at the sight of a corpse, and generally behave like the anti-Sherlock. Good thing he's back- stopped by gorgeously competent wife Nancy (Loretta Young). As the charmingly inept Jeff, Britisher Aherne is simply superb, and, I would think, at the apex of his American career.

Also, it appears the concept may have started off as a stage play since the action is mainly confined to Jeff & Nancy's dingy apartment. However that may be, the supporting cast is a collection of lively and familiar faces, especially Hollywood's favorite dumb cop, rubber-faced Donald McBride (Bolling), along with the grandly smitten furniture mover James Burke. The fractured events all move at a sure-handed pace thanks to veteran comedy director Richard Wallace. My one complaint is that better use is not made of the best dragon-lady of the period, Gale Sondergaard (Mrs. Devoe), who's often sinister enough to scare the stitches off Frankenstein's neck. Here however she plays it fairly boring and straight. Anyway, it's a nifty little comedy with a good mix of laughs and chills, and I expect war-weary audiences of the day (1942) found it great escapist entertainment that holds up well, even today. (Also—be sure to catch the amusingly apt very last frame.)

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