Christmas in July (1940)
Jimmy MacDonald: If you can't sleep, it isn't the coffee. It's the bunk.
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: I've been watching you for some time, Mr. MacDonald.
Jimmy MacDonald: Yes, sir. Used to make me kinda nervous.
[squirms in his shirt]
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: Not nervous any more?
Jimmy MacDonald: No, sir.
[squirms in his shirt]
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: Are you a drinking man, then?
Jimmy MacDonald: Sir?
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: This is part of your yesterday's work. I believe your number's 112.
Jimmy MacDonald: Yes, sir.
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: The Contometer Computing Machine is almost fool-proof, Mr. MacDonald. Yet, you managed to miss your total by a little matter of $11,000 on this one sheet. To what do you attribute that?
Jimmy MacDonald: I... er... I don't know, Mr. Waterbury.
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: You're familiar with simple arithmetic, aren't you ? I mean, you know the difference between addition, subtraction and... possibly even multiplication?
Jimmy MacDonald: Yes, sir.
Jimmy MacDonald: I'm pretty good at it.
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: Have you troubles at home, then? Ya henpecked? Suffering from a broken heart? Had yer teeth examined lately? Do ya play the races? Or are you purely and simply incapable of doing your work?
Jimmy MacDonald: Well I... I guess it's the contest, Mr. Waterbury - the Maxford House contest. I had no idea it was hurting my work.
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: How much is the prize?
Jimmy MacDonald: The *first* prize is $25,000.
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: Unnh
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: I used to think about $25,000 too, and what I'd do with it. That I'd be a failure, if I didn't get a hold of it. And then one day I realized that I was *never* gonna have $25,000, Mr. MacDonald.
Mr. E.L. Waterbury: And then another day... uhh... a little bit later - *considerably* later - I realized something else - something I'm imparting to you now, Mr. MacDonald. I'm not a failure. I'm a success. You see, ambition is all right if it works. But no system could be right where only half of 1% were successes and all the rest were failures - that wouldn't be right. I'm not a failure. I'm a success. And so are you, if you earn your own living and pay your bills and look the world in the eye. I hope you win your $25,000, Mr. MacDonald. But if you shouldn't happen to, don't worry about it. Now get the heck back to your desk and try to improve your arithmetic.
Dr. Maxford: [to Hartman] Of all the confounded...
Dr. Maxford: [shouts] Come in!
Jimmy MacDonald: How da you do, sir? I suppose I have the honor of addressing Dr. Maxford, I presume?
Dr. Maxford: That's right. And this is my announcer Don Hartman.
Jimmy MacDonald: Well, Mr. Hartman. It certainly is a pleasure to meet you. I've certainly enjoyed your personality on the air.
Don Hartman: [pleased] Eh, congratulations to you!
Jimmy MacDonald: Thank you. Here's the telegram, Mr. Maxford... uh, Dr. Maxford.
Dr. Maxford: Yes, yes, yes.
Dr. Maxford: Oh, yes... "great pleasure... informing you..." "$25,000!" "Kindly call and pick up your check."
Dr. Maxford: Bildocker has a great sense of the dramatic. You aren't by any chance a *coffee* drinker, are you, Mr. MacDonald?
Jimmy MacDonald: Yes, sir, I certainly am.
Dr. Maxford: Well, that's surprising. You don't by any chance drink *my* coffee, do you?
Jimmy MacDonald: Well, no, sir, you see I... eh...
Dr. Maxford: Oh, yesss . That sounds more natural.
Jimmy MacDonald: But I could easily change.
Dr. Maxford: That won't be necessary, Mr. MacDonald. I wouldn't want anybody to think that I had any *base commercial* motives in all this. I just *give* money away, because I can't *sleep* at night. I have a guilty conscience.
Jimmy MacDonald: That's my slogan! The one I *won* with. Well... I guess you know all about that.
Dr. Maxford: A guilty conscience, eh? I can see that my money is well spent.
[staring blankly at Jimmy]
Dr. Maxford: That's a *great* slogan.
Jimmy MacDonald: No - no, sir. If ya can't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk.
Dr. Maxford: I beg your pardon?
Jimmy MacDonald: It's a pun.
Dr. Maxford: It certainly is.
[staring blankly again]
Dr. Maxford: It's *great*.
Jimmy MacDonald: Thank you.
Dr. Maxford: I can hardly wait to give you my money.
Dr. Maxford: Bring me that contest check.
Dr. Maxford: ... and I said you can stay here 'til *Hoboken* freezes over! I should have fired the whole bunch of 'em!
Don Hartman: I was mortified.
Dr. Maxford: The biggest moment in commercial annals muffed by a gang of horse whistles who wouldn't know a slogan from a... ma-ma-ma... a poke in the eye with a stick!
Don Hartman: I thought I'd die of embarrassment.
Dr. Maxford: I wish they died a lockjaw. What good are these contests anyway? They interrupt the entire organization - they make ya millions of enemies - and all they prove is you're making too much money in the first place, since you can afford to toss a large chunk to some sap head who probably never had a cup of your coffee in his life but lives on goat's milk.
Don Hartman: Have they reached a verdict, yet?
Dr. Maxford: I don't know and I don't care!
Don Hartman: Maybe if they hold off 'til our next broadcast...
Dr. Maxford: No.
Dr. Maxford: No! That would be the *intelligent* thing to do. That would be useful to the company that clothes and feeds 'em and sends their children to college... so they can grow up and be dumbbells like their parents.
Don Hartman: [ironically smirking] Heh, hee, hee, hee.
Dr. Maxford: [intercom rings] Well, what da *you* want?!
Maxford's secretary: The contest winner's here, Dr. Maxford.
Dr. Maxford: The contest winner?
Maxford's secretary: Yes, sir.
Dr. Maxford: [to Hartman] Well, how do you like that. First they bottle up the biggest scoop of the year and then when they get good and ready they...
[to the intercom]
Dr. Maxford: All right, send 'im in!
Jimmy MacDonald: I don't know whether you've ever had anything like this happen to you, Dr. Maxford, but to be poor and unknown one minute and be sitting on top of the world the next minute - that's a feeling that *nobody* can ever take away from me.
Dr. Maxford: Well, I'll be... I'll be... I'll be...
Jimmy MacDonald: To know I won this contest because I thought up a better slogan than anyone else means more to me than anything else on earth and I'll tell ya why...
Dr. Maxford: If you wou -
Jimmy MacDonald: You see, I used ta *think* that maybe I had good ideas and was gonna get somewhere in the world, but now I *know* it. And that's what I want to thank you for, Dr. Maxford, even more than the money.
Maxford's secretary: Is this the one you wanted, Dr. Maxford? The $25,000 one?
Dr. Maxford: That's right.
Maxford's secretary: When did they choose a winner? I didn't know...
Dr. Maxford: I don't *know*. They bother to inform *me* about these things, of course! James MacDonald - is that M-A-C or M-C?
Jimmy MacDonald: It's M-A-C, sir.
Dr. Maxford: Oh, yesss... my... my grandmother was Scottish.
Don Hartman: [pointing] Mine's Lithuanian.
Dr. Maxford: Here you are, young man. Eh, it is customary under these circumstances to have few photographers present - a couple of reporters and even newsreels and broadcasting machinery, but since we do everything around here on a very high, non-commercial plane, I merely take pleasure in giving you this small check, Mr. Mac - er - Donald. And that's *all* there is to it.
Jimmy MacDonald: [deeply grateful] Thank you, Dr. Maxford.
[looking briefly at check]
Jimmy MacDonald: I don't know how I could ever find words...
Dr. Maxford: Well, never mind about them, just goodbye and good luck.
Jimmy MacDonald: [looks once more at check] Oh, boy!
[turns and leaves]
Dr. Maxford: [to intercom] Now, get me Bildocker!
Mr. J.B. Baxter: I hope I'm not intruding.
Jimmy MacDonald: Oh, no, sir. I - I was just coming down to see you. We... stopped in to take a look at the office and...
Mr. J.B. Baxter: So I noted. I hope you like it.
Betty Casey: Oh, it's beautiful.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: It isn't every young man who gets his own office *and* a private secretary at your age. With many of 'em I might be afraid it would go to their head. But I think you have your feet pretty solidly on the ground.
Jimmy MacDonald: Mr. Baxter, the...
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Oh, I mean it sincerely! Mr. Jenkins and I discussed our little meeting at *great* length after you left and I want you to know that we were genuinely impressed. Genuinely so!
Jimmy MacDonald: Well that's certainly nice to hear.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: The more we thought about your ideas, the more aware we became of their... pungency! Of their gravity!
Jimmy MacDonald: Well, that's...
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Of their crispness!
Jimmy MacDonald: Well, thank you, sir, it's certainly...
Mr. J.B. Baxter: You have a genuine talent for slogans. It must be like having an ear for music. Now you take me - I sing flat. And you, on the other hand, are a born sloganeer. "It's bread in the bean." Hot ziggitty!
Jimmy MacDonald: Well, it's certainly wonderful to hear, Mr. Baxter. I kinda got something on my mind, but you've certainly made me feel a lot better. I mean - they're still the same ideas, aren't they? If... they... were good this afternoon, they're - they're still good. Well, they'd - they'd have to be. They're the same.
Betty Casey: Of course they are.
Jimmy MacDonald: Of course they are.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: I'm not quite sure that I have your thought.
Jimmy MacDonald: I mean if you thought the ideas were good this afternoon you - you - still think they're good, don't you?
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Well of course I do!
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Why?
Jimmy MacDonald: Well, I mean since they *were* good and they're *still* good, they have to be *good*. And then it wouldn't make so much difference - or - or *any* difference if I hadn't won the contest... the - the Maxford House contest. Would it?
Mr. J.B. Baxter: [incredulous] Of course it would make a difference.
Jimmy MacDonald: [disappointed] Oh... it would.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Certainly, it would!
Betty Casey: Why?
Mr. J.B. Baxter: I'm no genius. I didn't hang on to my father's money by backing my own judgment, you know. I make mistakes every day. Sometimes, several times a day. I have a whole warehouse *full* of mistakes. I should say it *would* make a difference. You see, I think your ideas are good, because they sound good to me. But I know your ideas are good, because you won this contest over millions of aspirants.
Jimmy MacDonald: Yes, but you see, Mr. Baxter...
Mr. J.B. Baxter: It's what you might call commercial insurance. As when a horse wins the Derby, you back him for the Preakness.
Jimmy MacDonald: [defeated] Well, I didn't win it.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: The Preakness?
Jimmy MacDonald: The contest. It didn't win anything. It was a joke.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: [shouts] A joke?
Jimmy MacDonald: That's what they meant it to be, anyway.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: [shouts] Who did?
Jimmy MacDonald: Some of the fellas. Oh, they didn't mean any harm. They just wanted to see how I'd look when I got the news.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Well you tell me their names and we'll see how they look when I give them some news.
Jimmy MacDonald: I wouldn't care to do that, Mr. Baxter. I... oh, it doesn't matter.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: What do you mean, it doesn't matter? After I spend a whole afternoon, listening to a lot of... baloney, entirely predicated on the winning of this contest! And giving you this office!
Jimmy MacDonald: But how 'bout "It's *bread* in the *bean*."? The *blueblood* coffee."?
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Well, I don't know what about it! We'll find that out! They'll be plenty of time for that. But I won't be made a fool of, you understand. I can't go around giving out private offices and private secretaries on the strength of a prank that, personally, I consider far from funny.
Jimmy MacDonald: Yes, sir.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: [shouts] Yes, sir!!
Jimmy MacDonald: It'll be kinda hard to face that... gang, tomorrow morning from behind a desk.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: It would be just as hard to face them from in here, if you didn't *belong* here - uneasy lies the head...
Betty Casey: He *does* belong in here, Mr. Baxter.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Now what is the joke this time?
Betty Casey: He belongs in here because he thinks he belongs in here, because he thinks he...
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Oh, that's all very deep dish and high fallutin', but from a practical...
Betty Casey: It is practical, Mr. Baxter. It's the most practical idea you ever had. He belongs in here because he thinks he has ideas. He belongs in here until he proves himself or fails and... then... someone else belongs in here until he prove himself or fails and somebody else after that and somebody else after him and so on and so on for always. Oh... I don't know how to... put it into words like Jimmy could, but... all he wanted, all any of them want is a - is a chance to show - to find out what got while they're still young and burning like a short cut or a stepping stone. Oh, I know they're not gonna succeed, at least most of them won't, they'll all be like Mr. Waterbury soon enough, most of them, anyway. But they won't mind it. They'll find something else, and they'll be happy, because they had their chance. Because it's one thing to muff a chance once you've had it... it's another thing never to have had a chance. His name's already on the door.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: [looking to the door] Well, if anything decided me. That would be it.
Betty Casey: Mr. Baxter
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Now you've talked enough. Desks have already been moved and the name is painted on as you so skillfully pointed out, so we'll try it for a *very* short time, you understand? At no advance in salary, you understand?
Jimmy MacDonald: Yes, sir.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: And for a *very* short time.
Jimmy MacDonald: Yes, sir.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: After all, this is a business institution, not a cultural... project.
Jimmy MacDonald: You'll never be sorry, Mr. Baxter.
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Yes, well I'm a little bit sorry already, so just let it go at that. Good night and be on time in the morning.
[Betty smothers him in kisses]
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Oh, psshaw!
Mr. Shindel: Officer, I want all these people arrested.
Patrolman Murphy: Who do you think you are, Hitler?
Mr. J.B. Baxter: Well that sounds very deep dish and high falutin'.