A Night to Remember
Icons of Screwball Comedy Volume 2
Loretta Young, Brian Aherne
Directed by Richard Wallace
Originally released Columbia 1943 B&W
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2009
Do not confuse this 1943 mystery comedy with A Night To Remember, the 1958 B&W movie about the Titanic. This very enjoyable film stars Loretta Young and Brian Aherne as a young couple who rents an apartment in a very mysterious Greenwich Village apartment house and decides to investigate after a body is found in their garden. Granted, A Night to Remember is a bit of an odd duck as part of the Icons of Screwball Comedy Volume 2 4 film 2 DVD set but it certainly is fun to watch.
Though it certainly echoes Nick and Nora Charles of the Thin Man series, I am not enough of a fan of American Film Noir and murder mysteries of the thirties and forties to have picked up on all the spoofs and allusions that seem to be part of A Night to Remember. This knowledge matters little as this mystery comedy is quite enjoyable on its own.
The classic elements of a screwball comedy are a confusing or confused marriage, witty dialogue, and slapstick. This movie does have the witty dialogue “If you are going to get killed, I am going to get killed with you.” but the comedy is more physical and circumstantial than slapstick. There is a rather fun running gag involving a turtle.
A Night to Remember is a fun, lighthearted mystery comedy that works on both counts. The solve itself is a bit weak and abrupt but this does not really matter as this is a really fun movie to watch.
Other movies on Volume 2 of Icons of Slapstick Comedy are Theodora Goes Wild and Together Again (Irene Dunne) and The Doctor Takes a Wife (Loretta Young and Ray Williams)