Remember The Night (1940)
Dir. Mitchell Leisen
Scr. Preston Sturges
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred McMurray, Beulah Bondi, Sterling Holloway, Elizabeth Patterson, Georgia Caine
Review By Greg Klymkiw
A fine script from Preston Sturges, solid Mitchell Leisen direction and an undeniably wonderful cast are what keep this It Happened One Night wannabe reasonably diverting. This ball of well-used yarn involves an inveterate kleptomaniac (Stanwyck) and the State Prosecutor (Fred McMurray) who's determined to bring her to justice. The picture then blossoms into an unlikely romance on the road.
All the requisite romantic comedy tropes of the period merge with Sturges's signature American Renoir microscope upon the values of middle class America as McMurray's character brings his criminal charge to spend the holidays with his family upstate, only to face an eventual conflict of interest when the reality of throwing the book at her legally, looms its ugly head.
This charmingly familiar item adds to the pantheon of Old Hollywood Christmas movies. Even in 1940, though, it must have felt a tad derivative, but there's no denying its first-rate entertainment value.
The Film Corner Rating: *** 3-Stars
Remember The Night plays Sunday, February 22 at 3:15 p.m. at TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX in James Quandt's amazing series "Ball of Fire: The Films of Barbara Stanwyck". The film is presented in 35mm. For further info, visit the TIFF website HERE. The film is also available on DVD and Blu-Ray via Universal Pictures replete with a phenomenal set of extra features. As well, there are many other Stanwyck films from this TIFF series which can be ordered directly below and, if so, you'll be contributing to the ongoing maintenance of The Film Corner.