Friday, December 16, 2016

Remember the Night (1940)

Shoplifter Lee (Barbara Stanwyck) is on trial and her attorney uses the classic Hypnotism defense. When the prosecuting attorney (Fred MacMurray) realizes the jury is eating that crap up, he calls for Expert Testimony, thus delaying the trial until after the holidays and turning the tables back in his favor. Feeling bad he caused her to spend the holidays in lockup, he arranges for her to be bailed out. Only his man downtown thought he wanted her bailed out and brought around to his place for some nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more. Only he didn’t. At all. I mean, he’s Fred F’ing MacMurray for god sakes!

As luck would have it he’s going home for the holidays, she wants to reconnect up with her loving mother, and would you know it, it’s on the way! So, off on a road trip these love-birds-to-be go. What adventures they will have!

Remember the Night is a charming romantic comedy. It makes a case for nurture over nature without beating you over the head. The two grew up in similar circumstances, but while one steals, the other is a successful lawyer. The difference is Love. Hold a sec, I have to get a tissue. There seems to be something in my eye …

MacMurray and Stanwyck are solid performers. Please watch Double Indemnity if you haven't. Stanwyck’s transformation from streetwise bad girl to sympathetic woman was handled very well. Even more interesting is how the motion picture code is at odds with the Hollywood ending. Now, if I could only figure out which Night we are supposed to Remember. AMRU 3.5.
“Now there's nothing as dangerous as a square shooter. If all men were like you there wouldn't be any nice girls left.”

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