Remember the Night

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

A pretty good comedy/romance/drama from 1939 with (as you can see from the box on the right) Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. Written by Preston Sturges. No, it's not the noir one where they plot to bump off her husband for the insurance money, and <spoiler>both end up dead</spoiler>. That's Double Indemnity. This is more lighthearted.

But Barb is still on the shady side of the law. The opening scene shows her lifting a fancy bracelet from a New York jewelry store, but getting nabbed when she tries to hock it. She goes to trial, and Fred is the ace prosecutor determined to put her behind bars. How determined? The trial is just before Christmas. He thinks the jury would be more likely to acquit, simply to avoid having to stick someone in jail before the holiday. So he wangles a delay until after Christmas.

Which still leaves Barb in jail, because she can't afford bail. Here's where Fred's heart of gold kicks in: he posts her bail. Which (due to misunderstandings and Barb's continuing lack of cash) means he is more or less stuck with her until court resumes in January.

And (it turns out) they're both from Indiana. Mishap-filled holiday road trip! And Barb winds up spending the holiday week with Fred's colorful downhome family and surrounded the warmhearted Indiana folks. And smooching ensues.

So what happens when they get back to New York? Will Fred throw the case so they can live happily ever after? Guess what, I've given away about 90% of the movie, and I probably should leave it there.