Christmas in July (1940) - Rotten Tomatoes

Christmas in July (1940)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This modest Preston Sturges comedy stars Dick Powell as an office clerk dreaming of better things and Ellen Drew as his more pragmatic girlfriend. Powell convinces himself that his fortune will be made if he can win a slogan contest sponsored by a coffee company. Powell's contribution: "If you can't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk!" Three of Powell's fellow workers decide to have some fun with him; they fake a telegram which announces that he's won the contest. The deception snowballs to the point that even the head of the coffee firm (Raymond Walburn) labors under the misapprehension that Powell has won. When the painful truth is revealed, Powell finds himself broke (because of all the creature comforts he's bought) and jobless, but at least he's retained the love of his wife. A cute deus ex machina to the story appears in the person of William Demarest, the foreman of the "jury" that is judging the slogan contest.


Dick Powell
as Jimmy MacDonald
Ellen Drew
as Betty Casey
Raymond Walburn
as Dr. Maxford
Alexander Carr
as Mr. Schindel
William Demarest
as Mr. Bildocker
Ernest Truex
as Mr. Baxter
Franklin Pangborn
as Radio Announcer
Harry Hayden
as Mr. Waterbury
Georgia Caine
as Mrs. MacDonald
Ferike Boros
as Mrs. Schwartz
Torben Meyer
as Mr. Schmidt
Julius Tannen
as Mr. Zimmerman
Al Bridge
as Mr. Hillbeiner
Alan Bridge
as Mr. Hillbeiner
Lucille Ward
as Mrs. Casey
Kay Stewart
as Secretary
Victor Potel
as Davenola Salesman
Byron Foulger
as Mr. Jenkins
Jan Buckingham
as Secretary
Arthur Hoyt
as Mild Gentleman
Robert Warwick
as Large Gentleman
Jimmy Conlin
as Thin, Sour Gentleman
Dewey Robinson
as Large, Rough Gentleman
Esther Michelson
as Sophie's Mother
Frank Moran
as Patrolman Murphy
Georges Renavent
as Sign Painter
Preston Sturges
as Man at Shoeshine Stand
Pat West
as Man with Telephone
View All

Critic Reviews for Christmas in July

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (5)

Produced for a paltry $325,000, it once again gives the lie to the arbitrary Hollywood assumption that a film's quality is in direct proportion to its cost.

December 5, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A mildly diverting programmer, Christmas in July lacks both the overall spontaneity and entertainment impress of Sturges' first picture.

November 13, 2007 | Full Review…

Minor but delightful Sturges comedy.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

As a creator of rich and human comedy Mr. Sturges is closing fast on the heels of Frank Capra.

January 28, 2006 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Preston Sturges's second feature as writer-director (1940, 66 min.) is in many ways the most underrated of his movies -- a riotous comedy-satire about capitalism that bites so deep it hurts.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

A breeze to watch, and Sturges packs the brief running time with plenty of his trademark wit, skewering corporate vanity and overconfident male bluster in equal measure.

January 4, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Christmas in July

This is a good movie. It's funny and sometimes sad too. The cast is good, and the story is nice. I enjoyed it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Cute Preston Sturges, not his best but enjoyable.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


"If you can't sleep - it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk!" A cruel practical joke gets out of hand when a lowly employee of a coffee company is duped into believing he has won $25,000 in a competition to invent a new corporate slogan. Nothing else in the film can quite match the hilarious and touching opening rooftop scene - in which Dick Powell's Jimmy tries to explain the law of averages and his dismal slogan to his bemused girlfriend (Ellen Drew) - though Christmas in July still manages to be a fairly delightful piece of minor Sturges. If the ironic ending can be seen from several miles away, Powell and Drew make such a charming double act it hardly matters.

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

Christmas in July Quotes

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