7.6/10
4,047
62 user 35 critic

Remember the Night (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 19 January 1940 (USA)
A shoplifter and her prosecutor fall in love, creating tensions for his career and family.

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writer:

Preston Sturges (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Lee Leander
Fred MacMurray ... John Sargent
Beulah Bondi ... Mrs. Sargent
Elizabeth Patterson ... Aunt Emma
Willard Robertson ... Francis X. O'Leary
Sterling Holloway ... Willie
Charles Waldron Charles Waldron ... Judge in New York
Paul Guilfoyle ... District Attorney
Charles Arnt ... Tom (as Charlie Arnt)
John Wray ... 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:

(BAD) GIRL...MEETS....(GOOD) BOY (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Recuerdo de una noche See more »

Filming Locations:

Windsor, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$167,800
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last of Preston Sturgis' scripts that he also did not direct himself. Sturgis was upset at the cuts director Mitchell Leisen made to his script for this film, both before and during production, that he vowed to direct his own from then on. See more »

Goofs

When Fred MacMurray is milking the cow, Barbara Stanwyck 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

Rufus: She's here.
John Sargent: Who's here?
Rufus: I don't know, sir.
John Sargent: Well then, how do you know she's here?
Rufus: Well, I seen her come in.
John Sargent: You saw who come in?
Rufus: Uh, the lady.
John Sargent: You mean there's a lady in the apartment?
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Big Valley: Judgement in Heaven (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Played at the barn dance and sung by all on New Year's Eve
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Total charmer and wonderful Christmas nostalgia piece
13 January 2009 | by PudgyPandaManSee all my reviews

TCM aired this Christmas Eve this past year. I can't believe so few people have seen this judging by the 20+ reviews and 500 votes. It is an undiscovered gem waiting to be found. Hopefully with more airings around the holiday it will build a much deserved following.

This is such a charming film with two superlative stars - Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. While they both play roles they easily inhabit - her as the tough broad and him as the good-as-gold good guy - they both bring such warmth, charm and ease into their portrayals as to seem like a warm pair of gloves on a cold's winter night.

I love the references to Indiana. Both of my parents were Hoosiers and we went back to visit many times for reunions and Christmases. So much of the film seemed like a visit home to me. "Back Home In Indiana" is such a great melody, as was "A Perfect Day". Wouldn't it be great if families still gathered 'round pianos for a sing-a-long? MacMurray's farmhouse was such a wonderfully authentic set.

Wouldn't all of us love to be welcomed into a home like this, with so much love and warmth. There are so many nice old-fashioned touches, like popping corn over the fire, stringing popcorn for the Christmas tree, making popovers, a church bazaar, and a New Year's Eve Barn Dance. There is a wonderful touching scene when the spinster Aunt is letting Stanwyck borrow a gown of hers - only to find out it was a wedding dress she never got to use. I had to laugh at all the undergarments that went along with it (corset, bust lace, hip lace, etc, all to make a woman appear curvier). At one point she asks Stanwyck the size of her waist, which she answers is a 25 or 26. The Aunt says when she was young, they thought 19 inches was big. Ouch, those corsets must have hurt!

There are many different moods to this film which made it so interesting. At times, it felt like a screwball comedy, then a noir-ish piece, there's drama, and there's romance. I think this is a film the whole family can watch as it will appeal to most everyone. This one will have you laughing and tearing up at sentimental moments. A true classic that should be more appreciated today.


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