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Remember The Night(1940)

I say "surprisingly tender" because the screenwriter behind the shenanigans is Preston Sturges, the primo satirist behind The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, and Hail the Conquering Hero, among others. Sturges' rep rests on his acerbic wit and willingness to undermine every motherhood-and-apple-pie institution that America holds dear. This is the man who built World War II-era comedies around a small-town sweetheart getting drunk and knocked up by a soldier she can't remember and a crew of Marines lying through their teeth to hoodwink a 4-F reject's hometown into believing he was a battle hero. Since I came to Remember the Night after having seen Sturges' later, gleefully subversive screwball comedies, I wasn't expecting scenes in the heartland that portrayed family ties in a generous and sympathetic light.

Remember the Night(1940)

In its way, Remember the Night is as full of the improbabilities of any of the more familiar Christmas movies that we ritually rewatch in this season every year. But it's also no less lacking in the affirmation it makes of the power of love, its ability to melt even the coldest of hearts, to transform our feelings for our fellow man and woman. If that's a feeling you treasure in your holiday viewing, remember the film. 041b061a72


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