Remember the Night (1940)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

With a deft blending of humor, sentimentality and romance, this Preston Sturges-penned comedy centers on the romance between a caring attorney and the shoplifter he must prosecute. The whole situation begins near Christmas time when the girl (Barbara Stanwyck) is caught lifting a diamond bracelet from a posh New York store. Because the holiday is so close, the judge decides to postpone the case until after the New Year, leaving her to spend the season alone in jail. The assistant D.A. (Fred MacMurray) assigned to prosecute her, learns that the girl is from his home state and so offers to take her to her mother's home. Unfortunately, her mother rejects her, leaving the D.A. with little choice but to take her home with him. There, she is welcomed by the D.A.'s mother and family. She is deeply moved by the unaccustomed love and happiness she feels there, but though that love extends to the D.A., she refuses to show it because she is afraid that her joy is only fleeting. Her fear grows and she eventually decides whether to jump bail and escape or stay and face the music.
Classics , Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Barbara Stanwyck
as Lee Leander
Fred MacMurray
as John Sargent
Beulah Bondi
as Mrs. Sargent
Sterling Holloway
as Willie Simms
Willard Robertson
as Francis X. O'Leary
Charles Waldron
as Judge in New York
Paul Guilfoyle
as District Attorney
John Wray
as Hank
Thomas W. Ross
as Mr. Emory
Tom Kennedy
as Fat Mike
Georgia Caine
as Lee's Mother
Virginia Brissac
as Mrs. Emory
Spencer Charters
as Judge at Rummage Sale
Chester Clute
as Jewelry Salesman
James Flavin
as Tough Attendant
George Guhl
as Prison Guard
Kate Lawson
as Jail Matron
Fuzzy Knight
as Band Leader
John Beck
as Lee's Stepfather
Bernard Suss
as Jury Member
Frank Conklin
as Jury Member
Julius Tannen
as Jury Member
Edmund Elton
as Minister
Galan Galt
as Jury Member
Milton Kibbee
as Jury Member
Milt Kibbee
as Jury Member
Walter Soderling
as Jury Member
Pat O'Malley
as Jury Member
Harry Depp
as Jury Member
Julia Faye
as Jury Member
Avril Cameron
as Jury Member
Jean Acker
as Jury Member
Beth Hartman
as Jury Member
Ambrose Barker
as Customs Official
Brooks Benedict
as Court Spectator
Martha Mears
as Nightclub Singer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Remember the Night

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

Stanwyck turns in a fine performance. MacMurray is impressive as the serious-minded prosecutor, but loosens up for the comedy stretches.

Full Review… | November 12, 2007
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 27, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

You'd have to be a grump not to like this funny, sentimental blend of pathos, drama and zaniness.

Full Review… | November 12, 2007
TV Guide

An astonishing, moving film.

August 29, 2006
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Remember the Night

a delightful mix of drama and comedy.& the first of 2 Stanwyck Christmis movies the other is 'christmas in Connecticut"

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

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 imo

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


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.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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