7.7/10
3,685
58 user 34 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:

Mitchell Leisen

Writer:

Preston Sturges (original screenplay)
Reviews

On TV

Airs Sat. Dec. 22, 8:00 PM on TCM

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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:

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

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$167,800, 31 January 1940
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

"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

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

Aunt Emma: [after commenting about love, even though she was never married] You don't have to be a horse to judge a horse show.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

(Back Home Again in) Indiana
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by James F. Hanley
Lyrics by Ballard MacDonald
Played by the band and sung by an unidentified male quartet at the nightclub
Played also at the barn dance and often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A screwball parable that only Preston Sturges could deliver.
1 January 2007 | by Irie212See 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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