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Remembering the Night — 11 Comments

  1. GOM, excellent point about the "fine-brandy-ness" of Remember the Night. But hey, even the finest brandy tends to flow a little freer at Christmastime.

    A Christmas Story has certainly hit the stratosphere, hasn't it? Funny, but I don't recall it making that big a splash in 1983 (I still think Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsley were both robbed when Oscar noms went out), though Box Office Mojo indicates that it did rather well. Anyhow it played well at the theater where I saw it (twice) in Montclair, CA. I remember reflecting what a unique experience it was seeing a good Christmas movie for the first time in a theater full of strangers; I had known all the rest of the Christmas canon — Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Carol, etc. — only through family viewings on TV (ditto for Remember the Night).

  2. From the autobio Preston Sturges never published (to have been titled, "The Events Leading Up to My Death") but that his final wife published decades later ("Preston Sturges by Preston Sturges"): "In REMEMBER THE NIGHT, love reformed her and corrupted him…As it turned out, the picture had quite a lot of shmaltz, a good dose of schmerz and just enough schmutz to make it box office."

    Meanwhile, I love it.

  3. Eve, I've always thought Sturges's recollection of RtN in his memoirs must have been written from rather hazy memory. He enumerates three plot threads, two of which are actually present in the picture, explaining why none of them worked. Then he give what he says was his solution to the problem — "The district attorney takes her up to the mountains [sic] for the purpose of violating the Mann Act" — which is not present at all (the Mann Act is only obliquely alluded to, and then as a misunderstanding) and would never have gotten past the Hays Office.

    Clearly, I think, Sturges had not seen the picture recently (or read his script) as he wrote. Still, his overall assessment that love reforms her and corrupts him, and his description of the picture's balance of schmaltz (sentiment), schmerz (pain) and schmutz (sex), are both right on the money.

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  5. I really enjoyed reading your "Remember The Night.", post. Which is also one of my favorite holiday classic movies, that I try and watch every year.

    For those who have not yet seen this wonderful, holiday classic movie and you are into.. road trips, comedy, drama, wonderful characters, this movie is for you.