Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Christmas in July" with Dick Powell and Ellen Drew (1940)

I always watch a Christmas movie sometime in August. Maybe it’s just being tired of the heat; or that old wishing it was winter in the summer and vice versa thing. We humans are rarely ever fully satisfied with our current lots in life; always looking for what we don’t have rather than fully enjoying what we do have at the time. It’s just who we are.

This is one of the quirkiest Christmas movies ever made; as it takes place in July. Preston Sturges; arguably one of the greatest film directors ever; is in rare form in this film. Dick Powell and Ellen Drew, two young lovers, play a couple with no money but with big dreams.

When Jimmy MacDonald enters a contest for an advertising slogan he has high hopes. And when he is notified that he has won, and can now marry his true love Betty Casey, all should end well. But, this is a Preston Sturges movie, and it’s never that simple; ever.

Jimmy enters the contest with the Maxford Coffee Company and his co-workers decide to have a bit of fun with him. They send him a telegram that says he has won the prize of $25,000. He now believes he has enough to marry his girlfriend; as well as buy extravagant gifts for his friends and neighbors.

In reality though the coffee company is deadlocked on their selection and as Jimmy goes deeper and deeper into debt; with no money forthcoming; what will become of all his hopes and dreams? Will he be branded as a fraud in the heat of the summer; or will he bask in the warmth of a Christmas like miracle in July? 

I simply will not reveal the ending of this film, which is one of Preston Sturges best cinematic creations. You’ll just have to see it for yourself. 

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