7.7/10
3,864
61 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:

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

Even though the story takes place in a contemporary Christmas 1939-New Year 1940 setting, the Old Homestead in Indiana seems to be not yet wired for electricity. See more »

Goofs

The hand out of nowhere. It is about 30 minutes into the movie. Barbara and Fred wake up in the middle of a field full of cows. One cow puts her head into the car and wakes them. They decide to milk the cow for breakfast. The cow's head remains inside the car while being milked. Barbara is at the back end of the cow while Fred is sitting on the car's running board with both hands busy milking the cow. At this point the camera shows the cow inside the car chewing a hat. Then a mysterious hand appears under the cow's jaw holding the cow in place. When the scene returns to Barbara and Fred you can see it wasn't either one of them. See more »

Quotes

Lee Leander: One of these days one of you boys is going to start one of these scenes differently and one of us girls is going to drop dead from surprise.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Played in the score at Christmas time
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dewey Wouldn't Approve
13 December 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Watching Remember The Night I remembered something else that audiences might have forgotten in 1940 in seeing this film on screen. The District Attorney of New York County was one Thomas E. Dewey who was definitely not one for mixing business with pleasure. If one of his Assistant District Attorneys went bail for a prisoner he was prosecuting and took her home for Christmas and across a few state lines to boot, that man would not have had a job and Dewey wouldn't have cared about reasons of love.

But with a script by Preston Sturges and direction by Mitchell Leisen you could forget about reality and concentrate on Christmas romance. Leisen assembled a great cast of character players in this very charming comedy/drama. And you can't miss with leads like Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in the first of four films they did together.

MacMurray's the ADA who's prosecuting Stanwyck for shoplifting and this ain't her first offense. But a combination of her beauty and charm and one flannelmouth defense attorney has him feeling sorry for her and then going her bail and taking her home because, after all it's Christmas.

They have an eventful drive to Indiana where they both coincidentally hail from and MacMurray himself winds up a fugitive from a speed trap in a hilarious sequence. And the two see the kind of homes each came from, something that prosecutors and criminals don't often see from each other's point of view.

Beulah Bondi and Elizabeth Patterson play MacMurray's mother and aunt and are quite the contrast to Georgia Caine who is Stanwyck's cold hearted mom. Spencer Charters does a good job as the speed trap judge in Pennsylvania.

My favorite however is Stanwyck's attorney Willard Robertson who is really carried away with himself as her lawyer. He's giving her a defense on the shoplifting charge that Clarence Darrow gave Leopold&Loeb. Man does love to hear himself talk. But his talk keeps the trial over the holidays allowing cupid to work.

Stanwyck and Sturges became friends and he confided in her that he would be directing as well as writing soon and next year he might just have a project perfect for her. The project turned out to be The Lady Eve according to a recent biography of Stanwyck.

Remember The Night is a charming film by some charm masters. But I suspect that Thomas E. Dewey probably hated it.


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