The Golden Age of Hollywood

Don't Forget REMEMBER THE NIGHT tonight on TCM at 8:00 Eastern; 7:00 Central, etc., etc.

A Blog about Movies, Films, Video and Television

December 24, 2009
My favorite Christmas movie: Remember the Night
Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: Barbara Stanwyck, Christmas in July, Fred MacMurray, Preston Sturges, Remember the Night, TCM — M. Faust @ 10:33 am

Far be it from me to suggest that you should spend Christmas Eve in front of the television set. But if you are among those who have a break from the hecticness of the week and plan to spend it relaxing tonight with some seasonal programming, let me suggest an alternative to A Christmas Story (which WTBS will be running for 24 hours beginning at 8 pm tonight).
Turner Classic Movies is running my favorite Christmas movie tonight at 8 pm. Like It’s a Wonderful Life, the 1940 Remember the Night was largely forgotten for decades, despite two top stars (Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck, four years before they reteamed in Double Indemnity) and a screenplay by the great Preston Sturges. Mixing comedy, romance and a touch of dark melodrama, it is one of the few films to offer a truly believable story of redemption. I won’t recount the plot: one of the wonders of the film is the charm it brings to a story that sounds banal if you try to summarize it. By any standard it is an unheralded classic.
And if you don’t have to get to bed early, stay up afterward to watch Christmas in July, Sturges’ second effort as a director. You can always get to Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun tomorrow.

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Replies to This Discussion

I'm glad you posted this. I just watched it. I had never seen it before, and it was a lot better than I thought it would be. It's more than just another typical romantic comedy.....and of course another great performance from Stanwyck.
I'm glad you got a chance to see it, Dan. I have a copy on VHS that I recorded from TV a few years ago, but tonight's showing was a newly remastered version and the film quality was so much better than mine. It is a great story and I enjoy it each time I watch it. Stanwyck was in top form in the 40's and it shows very clearly in this one, which was the only movie she made in 1940, oddly enough. Fred McMurray was terrific too, in fact, the best I've ever seen him before, including Double Indemnity. Of course, Stanwyck went on to make other great movies, such as Meet John Doe, Ball of Fire, The Lady Eve, Double Indemnity, and Sorry Wrong Number, to name a few, in this decade.


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