Christmas in July (1940) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves. His latest attempt is the Maxford House Coffee Slogan Contest. As a joke, some of his co-workers put together a fake telegram which says that he won the $25,000 grand prize. As a result, he gets a promotion, buys presents for all of his family and friends, and proposes to his girl. When the truth comes out, he's not prepared for the consequences.

    - Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>
  • Jimmy MacDonald is an earnest young man and a poor working stiff, working as a bookkeeping clerk at Baxter & Sons Coffee. Jimmy is also a dreamer and ideas man, believing that he will one day strike it rich by winning one of the many contests he enters, the latest being a slogan contest for rival Maxford House Coffee, with the grand prize being $25,000. He wants to use the money to buy the small luxuries in life for his mother, and for his girlfriend and co-worker, Betty Casey, who he could then marry. The slogan judging jury has narrowed the choice of the winning entry down to two from the close to three million entries, with the jury deadlocked eleven to one, the eleven choosing an insipidly safe slogan which the other juror hates. The delay in announcing a winner exasperates the company founder and president, Dr. Maxford, who just wants a winner chosen regardless of the slogan. With a winner not announced, three of Jimmy's co-workers, Tom, Dick and Harry, decide to play a prank on Jimmy by sending him a telegram telling him he won the contest. Jimmy is elated and can't wait to tell the whole world. But before Tom, Dick and Harry can tell Jimmy the truth, the prank snowballs into more positives for Jimmy than just the $25,000, first at Baxter, then at Maxford House as Dr. Maxford just assumes that the telegram was sent by the jury without his knowledge, then at Shindel Bros. Department Store, where Jimmy buys gifts not only for his mother and Betty, but for everyone on their block. The question becomes what will happen when the telegram is found out to be a fraud, and what will happen with the true winning entry?

    - Written by Huggo


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