3193. Remember The Night (1940)

7.1 Enjoyable, but not hilarious
  • Acting 7.2
  • Directing 7.1
  • Story 7.0
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi

Director: Mitchell Leisen

Running Time: 94 mins

Remember The Night is an American film about a lawyer who takes in a woman accused of shoplifting over Christmas, developing a romance with her that comes to affect the trial that they are both involved in.

A perfectly pleasant romantic comedy with a nice bit of festive cheer, Remember The Night counts on winning performances from Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray to deliver an enjoyable, although no quite hilarious watch.

For the most part, Remember The Night comes across as a fluffy and pleasant but watered-down version of Bringing Up Baby. It’s not quite a screwball comedy, and it doesn’t feature Barbara Stanwyck in one of her stronger-willed roles, but there are elements of Remember The Night which smack of the legendary comedy starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

Stanwyck and MacMurray’s chemistry is really enjoyable, and although this isn’t the best film starring the pair, they work wonderfully together on screen in a whirlwind but thoroughly convincing romance. The screenplay may be a little on the simple side at times, but it’s Stanwyck and MacMurray’s performances which really help to make you feel for them as a couple, something that plays a big part in the story towards the latter stages.

However, there are times when the at first mismatched couple of a lawyer and an accused shoplifter feels like a rather lukewarm revival of the hilariously incompatible Grant and Hepburn from Bringing Up Baby. Remember The Night doesn’t have the pace or frenetic energy of the classic screwball, and the dynamic between Stanwyck and MacMurray is actually rather monotonous, lacking the hilarious ups and downs of Grant and Hepburn’s rollercoaster relationship in Bringing Up Baby.

The movie does manage to bring a calmer, cosier element of drama into the mix with its Christmas setting, and at times comes across as a more pleasant holiday film reminiscent of later films like Holiday Affair and even It’s A Wonderful Life. However, the movie just doesn’t have a particularly strong blend of comedy, emotion and energy to prove an enormously entertaining watch. It’s perfectly pleasant, but not much more, and that’s why I’m giving Remember The Night a 7.1 overall.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com