Remember the Night (1940)

86 mins | Drama | 19 January 1940

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writer:

Preston Sturges

Producer:

Mitchell Leisen

Cinematographer:

Ted Tetzlaff

Editor:

Doane Harrison

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Roland Anderson

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

       According to studio publicity contained in the production files at the AMPAS Library, this was the first time that director Mitchell Leisen did not appear as an extra in one of his films. This was the first film in which Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray worked together. Materials contained in the Preston Sturges Papers at the UCLA Library add that Sturges suggested the title Great Love for this film. This was Preston Sturges' last writing project before he became a writer-director. Modern sources add that Leisen shortened Sturges' script ... More Less

       According to studio publicity contained in the production files at the AMPAS Library, this was the first time that director Mitchell Leisen did not appear as an extra in one of his films. This was the first film in which Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray worked together. Materials contained in the Preston Sturges Papers at the UCLA Library add that Sturges suggested the title Great Love for this film. This was Preston Sturges' last writing project before he became a writer-director. Modern sources add that Leisen shortened Sturges' script considerably. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Jan 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Jan 40
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 39
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 39
pp. 4-5.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 39
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Jan 40
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Oct 39
p. 37.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Jan 40
p. 36.
New York Times
18 Jan 40
p. 27.
Variety
10 Jan 40
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
DANCE
Dance dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"Back Home in Indiana," music by James F. Hanley, lyrics by Ballard MacDonald
"Easy Living," music by Ralph Rainger, lyrics by Leo Robin
"A Perfect Day," music and lyrics by Carrie Jacobs-Bond.
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 January 1940
Production Date:
24 July--early September 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 January 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9372
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
86
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5592
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Realizing that he is about to lose his case against Lee Leander, a beautiful shoplifter, assistant district attorney John Sargent foils long-winded defense attorney Francis X. O'Leary's argument to have the case decided quickly so that everyone can go Christmas shopping. Knowing that convictions, especially against a woman, are almost impossible during the holidays, he moves to adjourn the case until after the beginning of the year. Soon after, his conscience begins to bother him at the thought of Lee spending Christmas in jail, and he posts her bail. Lee is broke and has nowhere to go, though, and when Jack discovers that she is from Indiana, where he is about to drive to visit his mother for the holidays, he offers to drop her off at home. Enroute, they get disoriented on a country road and get arrested as trespassers, but Lee saves them from jail by starting a fire in the local Justice of the Peace's waste basket. When they finally make it to Lee's mother's farm, the hateful woman turns her own daughter away, hurting Lee who never could live up to her mother's moralistic code. Feeling sorry for Lee, Jack brings her home to his mother and Aunt Emma. Jack secretly tells his mother about Lee and she sympathizes with the girl, whom she recognizes as a victim of a loveless childhood. Aunt Emma, who doesn't know about Lee's background, enocurages a romance between her and Jack, and they soon fall in love. On New Year's Eve, before they are to return to New York City, Jack's mother, fearful that a relationship with Lee would destroy her son's ... +


Realizing that he is about to lose his case against Lee Leander, a beautiful shoplifter, assistant district attorney John Sargent foils long-winded defense attorney Francis X. O'Leary's argument to have the case decided quickly so that everyone can go Christmas shopping. Knowing that convictions, especially against a woman, are almost impossible during the holidays, he moves to adjourn the case until after the beginning of the year. Soon after, his conscience begins to bother him at the thought of Lee spending Christmas in jail, and he posts her bail. Lee is broke and has nowhere to go, though, and when Jack discovers that she is from Indiana, where he is about to drive to visit his mother for the holidays, he offers to drop her off at home. Enroute, they get disoriented on a country road and get arrested as trespassers, but Lee saves them from jail by starting a fire in the local Justice of the Peace's waste basket. When they finally make it to Lee's mother's farm, the hateful woman turns her own daughter away, hurting Lee who never could live up to her mother's moralistic code. Feeling sorry for Lee, Jack brings her home to his mother and Aunt Emma. Jack secretly tells his mother about Lee and she sympathizes with the girl, whom she recognizes as a victim of a loveless childhood. Aunt Emma, who doesn't know about Lee's background, enocurages a romance between her and Jack, and they soon fall in love. On New Year's Eve, before they are to return to New York City, Jack's mother, fearful that a relationship with Lee would destroy her son's career, pleads with her to give him up and Lee agrees. On the drive home, Jack offers to leave Lee in Canada so that she can avoid prosecution, but, mindful of his mother's plea, Lee insists upon returning to New York. The trial resumes and the judge, who has seen Jack and Lee together on the evening they left for Indiana, suspects that Jack might try to throw the case. Hoping to win sympathy for Lee, Jack begins to brow beat her in front of the jury, but Lee, realizing his motives, pleads guilty and is remanded to jail. As she is lead away, Jack proposes to her and she promises that if he still feels that way after she has paid her debt to society, she will marry him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.