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Hollywood during the Depression: Christmas in July

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Event starts at 7:30 p.m. 
Price at the door:  $5.00

Christmas In July

Portage Theater
4050 N Milwaukee Ave, chicago, IL 60600
Click here for location info

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

Directed by Preston Sturges • 1940

Dick Powell enters a contest to create a new slogan for the Maxford House Coffee Company with hopes of winning

$25,000 for himself and his girlfriend Ellen Drew (his entry: “If you can’t sleep at night, it isn’t the coffee, it’s the

bunk”). A cruel trick courtesy of Powell’s co-workers convinces the young hopeful that he’s really won the prize,

and we learn (or perhaps are reminded of) what it’s like when the difference between success and failure is being

able to afford a new couch for your mother’s apartment. Based on the script for an unproduced stage play Sturges

wrote in 1931, Christmas in July feels more like Paramount’s pre-Code output than the bulk of Sturges own work

in the 40s (which makes sense considering Universal simultaneously picked up and dropped the script in 1934).

Running a brief 67 minutes, the film finds a perfect balance between Sturges’s obsessive orchestration of details and

his effortless understanding of human interaction, and feels the closest to his heart. (JA)

67 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

http://www.northwestchicagofilmsociety.org/calendar/archives/classic/2012-april-august/

About the artists:

Christmas In July

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

Directed by Preston Sturges • 1940

Dick Powell enters a contest to create a new slogan for the Maxford House Coffee Company with hopes of winning

$25,000 for himself and his girlfriend Ellen Drew (his entry: “If you can’t sleep at night, it isn’t the coffee, it’s the

bunk”). A cruel trick courtesy of Powell’s co-workers convinces the young hopeful that he’s really won the prize,

and we learn (or perhaps are reminded of) what it’s like when the difference between success and failure is being

able to afford a new couch for your mother’s apartment. Based on the script for an unproduced stage play Sturges

wrote in 1931, Christmas in July feels more like Paramount’s pre-Code output than the bulk of Sturges own work

in the 40s (which makes sense considering Universal simultaneously picked up and dropped the script in 1934).

Running a brief 67 minutes, the film finds a perfect balance between Sturges’s obsessive orchestration of details and

his effortless understanding of human interaction, and feels the closest to his heart. (JA)

67 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal




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Saturday Sep 12th 1:00 p.m.

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Saturday Sep 12th 7:00 p.m.

Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited with special guests

More info