Christmas in July

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Preston Sturges
Production: Paramount Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
67 min

(Woman)... into a big airy bedroom.

Then the sideboard turns around

and turns into the bathroom.

So you can eat and bathe?

- Course not, silly.

Then what's it doing in the bathroom?

- Nothing. It turns into a bathroom.

Then another time it

turns into a kitchenette.

Another time into a fireplace.

You can't light it but it looks awful cute.

What turns into a fireplace?

- This gig in the corner.

It turns around and makes one room

into four rooms... young people who

haven't much money...

...can have a four-room apartment...

...for the price of a one-room apartment.

One room isn't an apartment.

- They're called that.

It's the same as four rooms.

- But suppose I...

You turn this in the corner...

- Suppose I wanted to go to the fireplace...

...while you were in the kitchenette.

You're trying to make things difficult.

Nothing's good enough for you

except a palace on Fifth Avenue.

(Radio) I give you coffee -

the end of the perfect dinner,

the beginning of the perfect day.

And now, the moment

we have all been waiting for.

We are about to give you the result...

...of the $50,000

Maxford House New Slogan contest,

with a first prize of $25,000,

a second prize of $5,000,

a third prize of $2,500,

a fourth prize of $1,500,

a fifth prize of $1,000,

and 95 other prizes totaling $15,000.

Some folks are going to be delirious

in a few minutes.

As you may well imagine,

all that sugar draws a lot of flies...

...and the jury here has been struggling

to pick the winners...

...from a little snowdrift

of 2,947,582 answers.

That is a lot of answers in any language,

including the Scandinavian.


Dr. Maxford, our founder and president,

is at my side.


It will only be a matter of a few moments...

...until the jury ceases wrestling

and hands Dr. Maxford the verdict,

and he will himself,

in that well-known voice of his,

read you the names of the winners.


- We seem to have a little contretemps,

fox pass or what have you,

ladies and gentlemen.

But it will only be...

What's the matter?

- The jury is deadlocked.


- Eleven to one.

It will only be a few moments

before the jury untangles itself,

and we will hear the happy winners' names

throughout the world.



Ahem. Just a little patience,

ladies and gentlemen.

Can't you get it through...

- What's this about a deadlock?

Where's the verdict?

- Ask Bildocker.

And you'll get an answer, too.

If you birds had the brains of a rooster...

I resent that. You may know about shipping

but when eleven of us have agreed...

It'll be ten o'clock next week...

- Quiet.

...before I give in to bunch of fat-headed,

mealy-mouthed lame brains who...

Quiet. Jumping Jehoshaphat.

Do you realize that we're on the air?

The whole of America's

waiting for your verdict.

120 million people

are suspended from your lips.

You're giving heart failure

to the western hemisphere.

What do you know about

picking slogans anyway?

You wouldn't know a slogan

if you slipped on one.

If you gentlemen had the combined brains

of an amoeba...

But we're all agreed, Dr. Maxford.

It's only Bildocker who's holding out.

Oh, it is, is it? Well, let me

tell you something, Mr. Bildocker.

You've been getting into my hair

for the past 20 years,

and I meant to mention it before.

I'm going to give you four seconds...

No, you're not, Dr. Maxford.

I'm a member of this jury and I'm going

to vote the way I think is right...

...if it takes ten years.

You can fire me out of shipping...

...but you aren't going to

fire me off this jury...

...because I don't work for you on this jury.

I'm giving my services

free to the bunch of...

Who said anything about firing you,

you lunkhead?

All I said was that I...

- (Phone)

Yes? Oh, we are, are we?

Well, that's just lovely.

We're going off the air, gentlemen,

so just take your time.

You can stay here till next Wednesday.

Or you can still here

till Hoboken freezes over.

We have failed in our promise to the public.

We have muffed the most dramatic

advertising moment in commerce,

and you've made a fathead out of me.

The next nitwit who talks to me

about a contest...

...had better duck before I swing on him.

In conclusion, gentlemen,

especially you, Mr. Bildocker,

let me say that I have seen

far better heads on... umbrellas.

And so,

another broadcast slips into posterity,

as we bring to a close

the 449th Maxford House programme.

I wish I could have given you

the news you wanted to hear.

But I will conclude with

what the prisoner said...

...when the hangman couldn't find the rope.

'No noose is good noose.' Ha, ha.

This is Don Hartman,

wishing you all goodnight.

They build you up to a big finish

and leave you hanging on a meat hook.

You heard what he said.

No news is good news.

He said, 'No noose is good noose.'

- So?

Oh, it doesn't matter.

I wish they'd get it over with.

You start thinking about that $25,000,

or even the $5,000...

Or anything.

- You said it.

When you've got it right in your mitts,

they leave you with your

tongue hanging out.

There ought to be a law against it.

Did you really think you'd win it?

- I haven't lost it yet.

How many have you lost?

- I don't know.

But every time I've lost a contest,

I've doubled my chances on the next one.

It's the law of averages. Like when I lost the

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Preston Sturges

Preston Sturges (; born Edmund Preston Biden; August 29, 1898 – August 6, 1959) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and film director. In 1941, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film The Great McGinty, his first of three nominations in the category. Sturges took the screwball comedy format of the 1930s to another level, writing dialogue that, heard today, is often surprisingly naturalistic, mature, and ahead of its time, despite the farcical situations. It is not uncommon for a Sturges character to deliver an exquisitely turned phrase and take an elaborate pratfall within the same scene. A tender love scene between Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve was enlivened by a horse, which repeatedly poked its nose into Fonda's head. Prior to Sturges, other figures in Hollywood (such as Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, and Frank Capra) had directed films from their own scripts, however Sturges is often regarded as the first Hollywood figure to establish success as a screenwriter and then move into directing his own scripts, at a time when those roles were separate. Sturges famously sold the story for The Great McGinty to Paramount Pictures for $1, in return for being allowed to direct the film; the sum was quietly raised to $10 by the studio for legal reasons. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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