Christmas in July - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Christmas in July Reviews

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October 19, 2015
In some ways, I feel Christmas in July may be my favourite Preston Sturges picture. Its short, to the point, and wonderfully told. Its about a day dreaming contest participant Jimmy MacDonald, who thinks he can make it big by entering contests. His girlfriend Betty is by his side, regardless of his many losses. When his co-workers play a little prank and send him a telegram saying he`s won, he goes on a huge shopping spree, and even has the President of the contest fooled. What follows is a quaint and enjoyable little comedy with a lot of themes of perception and ambition, and it works quite well.
April 18, 2015
There were some nice parts, but I found the film a bit boring.
½ April 11, 2015
Compact early Preston Sturges effort that actually has nothing wrong with it - it just isn't a masterpiece like the comedies he would make in the next few years. Dick Powell (post-musicals, pre-noir) is an earnest but poor guy hoping to win a slogan contest run by a big coffee company offering $25K as a price (with inflation that's $400K to you and me). When the guys in his office send him a prank telegram telling him he's won, things spiral out of control from there (in true Sturges fashion). Good support from Ellen Drew as his gal, Raymond Walburn as the coffee company boss, and, of course, Sturges regular William Demarest in a bit part. At just over an hour, you can't lose.
November 17, 2014
It's all about the writing... and it is phenomenal. Another Sturges classic ahead of its time (the critique on a growing capitalistic society) that is yet to earn the praise it immensely deserves.
½ September 24, 2014
Christmas in July is a charming little film from the 1940s. It is not a holiday film, despite the title. It is the story of a coffee company that is holding a contest to select a new slogan, and a young man who believes he has won this contest. It is one of those films built around one small misunderstanding blowing up into larger and larger issues. Naturally hilarity ensues, and in classic Hollywood style everybody lives happily ever after (well almost everybody.) I enjoy the simplicity of this movie. It makes me feel nostalgic for the "good old days" of cinema when you could just tell a nice story and everyone could walk away with a smile on their face, without having to delve into a dark subplot and a dramatic twist at the end. What is surprising is the fact that, there also seems to be a bit of a statement being made here about the frustrating nature of the corporate world. It's almost like they're using this whole ad slogan gimmick as a way of satirizing the business world, as well as the advertising industry. I like that it has that kind of edge to it, because it gives some added weight to what is otherwise a light and fluffy story.

Because this movie is so small it relies almost entirely on the writers and the actors to provide a good product. I appreciated the wit of the story and some of the humorous moments the writers created, but I think the primary reason I found Christmas in July to be successful was the acting. Dick Powell was pretty good as the protagonist with a heart of gold. His portrayal of Jimmy is very "head-in-the-clouds" and he cares a lot about the people around him too. I don't think Ellen Drew was given much to do with her part as Betty, but she delivered her final speech with enough impact to make it work for me. The real great performances, however, came from the supporting cast. Raymond Walburn is hilarious as Dr. Maxford, Ernest Truex is great as Mr. Baxter, even William Demarest's small role as Bildocker was fun to see for a couple of scenes. If you like these older black-and-white comedies I'd recommend Christmas in July. Besides it's only 67 minutes long, so what have you got to lose?
August 28, 2014
Not the greatest Surges film nor the best Dick Powell film..but damn good. Despite the title not a holiday film. I am surprised that his co-star Ellen Drew never became a bigger star. One to track down and watch on TCM
½ January 6, 2014
Pleasant romantic comedy from Preston Sturges featuring a great cast and wonderful performances from the 2 leads, Dick Powell and Ellen Drew.
½ December 8, 2013
A very overlooked Preston Sturges comedy starring Dick Powell who's convinced that he's won $25,000 from a slogan contest sponsored by a coffee company. It takes a while for the film to kick in, but once it does, Christmas in July is a laugh riot. It's also a little too short for my tastes, but I was entertained by this underrated Sturges film. Raymond Walburn is the extreme scene-stealer here as Maxford the head of the coffee company behind the contest. It's not the essential Preston Sturges film (that being Sullivan's Travels), but Christmas in July is overlooked, underrated, entertaining, and needs to be seen more.
½ December 17, 2012
Maravillosa comedia del gran Preston Sturges acerca de un hombre (Dick Powell) que al creer haber ganado un concurso, expone toda su bondad. En estos tiempos de crisis, esta es una cinta mas que pertinente.
½ November 24, 2012
The very cute light comedy from the master of laughs Preston Sturges. It's not a complex film but a likable one.

It's a simple story of a man been fooled to winning a slogan competition and the consequences there after. It's got a charm to it & both leads are really likable & move the film forward.

Although this film is set in July it's got such a story that suits Christmas, you feel for the characters and it travels fast & before you know it it's short run time (67 minutes) will be done before you know it.
½ July 7, 2012
A charming fun little movie about a man who mistakenly thinks he has won $25,000 from entering a slogan contest and oh the things he buys! Enjoyable '40's fare :-)
July 5, 2012
a seriously charming and humorous picture from director preston sturges, "christmas in july" has a ridiculous premise that somehow feels totally believable due to clever writing and fantastic direction.
July 2, 2012
movie #2 for the great director sturges but the last of his films that i'm seeing and already that sturges touch can be seen here in this rom-com
April 5, 2012
This is a short little film, but once you leave it, you can't help but love it. Anyhow, Dick Powell plays this man who wins a contest, where the prize is $10,000. OK, not bad potatoes now, but back in the Depression, that's a WHOLE lot of bread. Talk about happy, but see here's the catch, when he won, the whole thing was meant as a practical joke which to me, isn't but ok. Now Powell and his girlfriend goes out and buy up some stuff. They go back to the neighborhood and buys the whole block gifts and toys. Watching that block come out and cheer on Powell to me is the whole movie by iteslf, but of course, the joke comes to light, but the last laugh as Sturgis always delivers comes defnitely to the intended. One great movie. just a 85min one. worth the wright in gold.
December 24, 2011
Smooth, entertaining, effective storytelling. Some great character acting, nice feel-good moments and positive message (including the digs against capitalism). My first Sturges and I wanna see more!
½ December 18, 2011
It's minor Sturges, but minor Sturges is still better than most anything else--a rich, funny, sad, sweet satire on the American (and maybe Hollywood--it feels potentially autobiographical) dream. Lovely stuff.
½ December 11, 2011
This is an entertaining Preston Sturges film. The set-up and resolution are clever and funny, and it's an enjoyable watch. The film is over 70 yrs old, but is still more amusing than a lot of today's comedies. For fan of classic comedies, check it out!
May 13, 2011
Deciding to review some old movies as I watch them. Christmas in July is a terrific Preston Sturges comedy. Gonna be revisiting his work over the next few weeks. Dick Powell was great.
½ February 21, 2011
This movie doesn't fuck around.

Are you kidding me? It's 67 minutes long. You could take a bath in the amount of time it takes this movie to begin and end. And that's great.

So, it's about this guy who writes a slogan for a contest, and is tricked into thinking he won the $25k grand prize. Hilarity ensues. Now, you'd think with a running time so short, things would seem rushed. Not so. Preston Sturges manages to juggle around a bunch of memorable characters, several gags, and convey some serious pathos all before coming through with an ending that you can see coming, but works all the same. Dick Powell and Ellen Drew are great as the lead characters, making you believe in them from the first minute they're onscreen. None of the performances are ever too over the top to digest, and no one really shows anyone up. It's all well-done and extremely watchable.

So, I can only imagine that there are hundreds of movies like this one. But this is special because it gets everything done in a concise, yet complete way. And none of it ever feels overly sentimental or too predictable. It's a fairy tale for the Depressed set, and it's worth the hour it'll take to watch it.
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