A Night to Remember (1942)
Release year: 1942
Director: Richard Wallace
Screenwriter: Kelley Roos, Richard Flournoy
Starring: Loretta Young, Brian Aherne, Jeff Donnell, William Wright, Sidney Toler, James Burke, Donald MacBride, Don Costello
Sunday Classic #285, week 49 2019
Mystery writer Jeff Troy (Aherne) and his new bride (Young) move into a basement apartment in Greenwich Village where the plan is Jeff can find inspiration for his crime novels. But soon the couple find themselves in the middle of a real-life mystery as a corpse appears in their yard.
This fun and charming murder mystery from the golden era of Hollywood manage to warm your heart more than chill thanks to engaging performances from Young (The Stranger, 1946) and Aherne (Lancelot and Guinevere, 1963). Watching the two stumbles into a murder mystery as newly weds almost makes this a romantic comedy more than a mystery. They share a connection and comfort with each other which makes them pleasant to watch and follow. At many times the wife, Nancy, seems the strongest in the relationship to amusing effect as poor Jeff try to man himself up to protect her (or open that door that keeps getting stuck) and with a turtle as recurring guest and a house full of highly suspicious people who obviously have something to hide, the scene is set for an entertaining movie where the humour only increases when the police enters the picture, mainly thanks to a brilliant MacBride (Topper Returns, 1941).
Not as memorable as the same-titled Titanic movie from 1958 but sweet and charming.
The book title ‘Murder in the Chop Suey Restaurant’ that the detective reads out loud is a clear reference to Sidney Toller playing Inspector Hankins and the many movie is starred as Charlie Chan in.
In one scene, Brian Aherne takes a burning roast out of an oven. The music Werner R. Heymann composed for this scene was used many years later for You Bet Your Life (1950) as the theme played whenever the wheel of fortune is being spun by a contestant.
The movie is based on Kelley Roos’s novel The Frightened Stiff.
Picture copyrights: Sony Pictures