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At The Paramount and Fenway


In the moviegoer's mind, Dick Powell stands for an intolerable mug, Ellen Drew for nothing at all, and Preston Sturges for that competent one man outfit that gave us "The Great McGinty" at minimum cost. In "Christmas in July," Powell is surprisingly un provocative, Drew remains nothing, and Sturges contributes as usual the sprightly story and snappy direction that make up most of the show.

A delightful comedy it is, "Christmas in July," although not quite worthy of its title. The plot consists of the mad cavorting of a couple in the lower income brackets who think they have won $25,000 until it all turns out to be a joke, and a poor one at that. There is plenty of nuthouse fantasy but enough reality to remind you grimly of Monday morning. Less satisfactory are relapses into pie-throwing burlesque, and the benevolent dei-ex-machina that turn up just in time to make everything come true: the $25,000, the private office, and the blessings of marriage to Ellen.

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