7.6/10
2,735
33 user 22 critic

Christmas in July (1940)

When the co-workers of an ambitious clerk trick him into thinking he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest, he begins to use the money to fulfill his dreams. What will happen when the ruse is discovered?

Director:

Preston Sturges

Writer:

Preston Sturges
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Powell ... Jimmy MacDonald
Ellen Drew ... Betty Casey
Raymond Walburn ... Dr. Maxford
Alexander Carr Alexander Carr ... Mr. Shindel
William Demarest ... Mr. Bildocker
Ernest Truex ... Mr. Baxter
Franklin Pangborn ... Don Hartman, Radio Announcer
Rod Cameron ... Dick
Adrian Morris Adrian Morris ... Tom (as Michael Morris)
Harry Rosenthal Harry Rosenthal ... Harry
Georgia Caine ... Mrs. MacDonald
Ferike Boros Ferike Boros ... Mrs. Schwartz
Torben Meyer ... Mr. Schmidt
Julius Tannen ... Mr. Zimmerman
Al Bridge ... Mr. Hillbeiner (as Alan Bridge)
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you can't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee - it's the bunk! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das große Los See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

If adjusted for inflation the grand prize of $25,000 would be equivalent to $421,000 in 2014. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Shindel: Officer, I want all these people arrested.
Patrolman Murphy: Who do you think you are, Hitler?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Radio Days (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

When We're Along (Penthouse Serenade)
(1931)
Words & Music by Will Jason and Val Burton
Used as background music behind Dick Powell and Ellen Drew in rooftop scene, and later throughout the film.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A simple story, told perfectly.
28 October 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is probably my favorite Presto Sturgess film--and I am not sure wonder why it's one of his least famous films. This is because although the story is quite simple, it's presented absolutely perfectly. The dialog, the characters and everything about the production is top-notch. In fact, it's so good I give it a 10--something I actually do pretty rarely. But it has got to be one of the best comedies of its time--in the same league as great comedies such as "Bringing Up Baby", "His Girl Friday" and "Arsenic and Old Lace" (all, incidentally, which starred Cary Grant).

The film stars Dick Powell and Ellen Drew. I have always liked Powell in films where he didn't sing--he had a nice presence about him and was underrated as an actor. As for Powell, he, too, hated the singing in all his earlier films and I am sure he liked having a break in the usual routine. However, if you've seen many of writer/director Sturgess' films, you'll know that the real stars of his movies are the wonderful supporting characters. Raymond Walburn is simply terrific but Franklin Pangborn, William Demerest (who seems to be in almost EVERY Sturgess film) and Ernest Truex are just wonderful and add so much color to the movie.

Powell plays a guy who is always entering jingle contests (something rather popular back in the good 'ol days) but keeps failing. He is especially excited about a coffee company that is giving away a $25,000 first prize--and that's all he thinks about or talks of to his fiancé or at work. To play a joke on him (a very, very unfunny one), one of his co-workers decide to send him a phony telegram saying he's won this contest. As soon as this occurs, an unexpected chain of events takes place and the joke goes spiraling out of control. I'd say more, but I don't want to ruin the film. Just see the movie--it will give you quite a few laugh out loud moments and is clever and supremely well-constructed. A must-see.


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