Remember the Night (1940)
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A romantic comedy drama directed by former art director Mitchell Leisen and based on a skillful Preston Sturges screenplay. Barbara Stanwyck stars as Lee Leander, a New York City shoplifter who is arrested just before Christmas after trying to filch an expensive piece of jewelry. Her trial delayed until after the holiday, Lee comes to the attention of an assistant district attorney, John Sargent (Fred MacMurray). Although he will be expected to prosecute Lee in a few days, John takes pity on the prisoner, who is from his home state of Indiana. He arranges for her to be released for the holidays and escorts her home, but her mother (Georgia Caine) is not interested in a reunion. So John takes Lee to his own festivities, where Lee is bowled over by the love and affection of the Sargent family, particularly John's mother (Beulah Bondi), who is so unlike her own. Lee and John fall in love, but their return to the Big Apple and Lee's trial loom large over their romance. … More
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Critic Reviews for Remember the Night
Stanwyck turns in a fine performance. MacMurray is impressive as the serious-minded prosecutor, but loosens up for the comedy stretches.
Playing superbly on the personae of his leads, Leisen creates a movie of warmth and immense style, which never quite trips over into excessive sentimentality.
Perhaps this is a bit too early in the season to be talking of the best pictures of 1940; it is not too early to say that Paramount's nomination is worth considering.
The loose, graceful script is by Preston Sturges (one of his last before he turned to directing), and it partakes of a softness and nostalgia that seldom surfaced in his own films.
You'd have to be a grump not to like this funny, sentimental blend of pathos, drama and zaniness.
An astonishing, moving film.
Audience Reviews for Remember the Night
four years before double indemnity, stanwyck and macmurray made this very different film together. the plot may be a little far fetched but sturges' banter is unmistakable. better than the holiday classic christmas in connecticut imoMore
Remember the Night is a good but not great movie. The Preston Sturges-scripted story starts off with his signature madcap qualities but director Mitchell Leisen takes the movie into melodrama country for the last act. In Leisen's defense, that Niagara Falls scene was beautiful. Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck are as always, amazing together And of course Beulah Bondi was fantastic to the point where you almost wish she was your mom. Remember the Night is a great watch if you're tired of Christmas movies--there's enough Christmas going on without it getting shoved down your throat.More
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