Preston Sturges was a brilliant filmmaker. His comedies are some of funniest and cynical films ever made. From The Great McGinty to The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek he combines screwball comedy with a social commentary that you almost don’t even notice is there.
Christmas In July was made in 1940 and was based on Sturges’ play A Cup of Coffee. The film stars Dick Powell as an average joe. Powell has entered the ‘Maxford House Coffee Slogan’ contest. The first prize is $25,000 and he thinks he has the winning slogan. Three of his co-workers decide to play a prank on him and send him a fake telegram informing him that he has won the contest. In actuality the jury is deadlocked on a decision but when Powell shows up everyone including the president of the company believe he actually won.
Powell and his fiance go on a spending spree to end all spending sprees and buy everything they ever wanted plus gifts for everyone in their neighbourhood. Of course the truth is just around the corner.
Remember “If you can’t sleep, it isn’t the coffee. It’s the bunk.”