19 February 2007 | Doylenf
Another sentimental Valentine to a schoolteacher...
In the vein of CHEERS FOR MISS BISHOP, GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS and GOOD MORNING, MISS DOVE, Fox gave CLAUDETTE COLBERT and JOHN PAYNE a chance to show what they could do in another sentimental tale about the passage of time in a schoolmarm's life and her effect on faculty and students, as well as her remembrance of a lost love.
The good thing about REMEMBER THE DAY is it doesn't wallow in cheap sentiment the way some of the sudsers mentioned above had a tendency to do. Nor is it quite as cheerless. Instead, the script is bright and pleasant for most of the time, giving Claudette and John Payne a chance to create likable characters.
Like so many '40s romances, it's told in flashback as Claudette recalls her romance with football coach Payne at a school where both of them are teachers who never met before. Both have a natural charm that really comes across here with Claudette being the sort of dream teacher everyone should have--warm and thoughtful. And little DOUGLAS CROFT is excellent as her most promising student.
Of course, true love never does run smooth in these sort of things and soon a hint of scandal puts a damper on the Colbert/Payne romance when their moral conduct leads the school president to believe they spent the summer together violating school rules. Colbert rejects Payne's proposal of marriage at first, but later they do wed and he goes off to war.
ANNE REVERE is excellent as a prim and proper spinsterish teacher who misunderstands gossip about Colbert's romance. The period flavor is nicely captured but Alfred Newman's overly busy background score is a bit too schmaltzy for comfort, with old time songs constantly playing away in the background
With Payne joining the service (the Royal Canadian engineers), you know something has to happen to make it an ill-fated romance. Fortunately, the lighter side of the romance keeps the picture from falling into the bathos of many a tear-jerker, saving it from the fate of a film like CHEERS FOR MISS BISHOP.
Summing up: Well wrought sentiment nicely directed by Henry Koster with Colbert at her charming best and Payne as a promising newcomer.