Friday, December 11, 2015

A Night to Remember: Remember the Night (1940)

Last night was one of those special evenings which makes me particularly glad I live in Southern California.

My husband and I enjoyed a very nice dinner with our friend Lindsay at historic Miceli's in Hollywood, then it was on to a special 75th Anniversary Holiday Screening of REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940).

The screening was sponsored by the Academy at their Linwood Dunn Theater on Vine Street. I've been to the Academy's Goldwyn Theater on Wilshire Boulevard on numerous occasions, but never to the smaller Linwood Dunn. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located in the Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, which also houses the Academy's film archives.

The Pickford Center is located in the former Don Lee Mutual Broadcast Building, which was built in 1948 -- less than a decade after tonight's movie was created. The building's striking style is described by the Los Angeles Conservancy site as "Late Moderne."

The evening began with a wonderful program of holiday-themed trailers and ads from the Academy's archives. We saw John Wayne announcing Christmas Seal sales and Barbara Stanwyck asking for Red Cross donations mixed in between trailers for movies like THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947), WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954), and BABES IN TOYLAND (1961).

I reviewed REMEMBER THE NIGHT here in the early days of this blog, back in 2006. Tonight was my third time to see it, the first on a big screen, and while I've loved it each time, seeing it with an audience was a revelation.

I've always thought of REMEMBER THE NIGHT as a romantic melodrama, with a few chuckles mixed in, but seeing it with an audience underscored that it is a funny movie, as well as touching. Moments like Barbara Stanwyck's wondering glances at her attorney's closing argument on hypnosis elicited wonderful laughter from the crowd. I appreciated the movie in a whole new way tonight.

The print was gorgeous, and the audience was even served cookies and apple cider afterwards. (The photos on the board at the right were on display in the lobby.) The low ticket price ($5) and plentiful free parking ensures that while this was my first visit to the Linwood Dunn Theater, it certainly won't be the last!

REMEMBER THE NIGHT airs on Turner Classic Movies December 18th. It's a wonderful film which has become essential Christmastime viewing.

Susan King wrote about the screening for the Los Angeles Times. For more on REMEMBER THE NIGHT, visit Jacqueline's post at Another Old Movie Blog, Jeff Stafford at TCM Movie Morlocks, and Jerry Frebowitz of Movies Unlimited.

Here's a gallery of stills from REMEMBER THE NIGHT:

Merry Christmas!

2017 Update: Related Post: Christmas at the Academy: Miracle on 34th Street (1947).


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