Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TODAY'S NUGGET: Christmas in July (1940) - Ironic Hijinks

[Quick Summary: A man wins a slogan competition, which causes misunderstandings and havoc.]

Bad news: This is not my favorite Sturges script. 

Good news: Sturges does write better ironic hijinks than most.

ex. The protagonist gets a telegram at work announcing that he's won a $25,000 coffee slogan competition.

He calls his mother and promises the world. [Ups the personal ante.]

The whole office cheers the good news. [Ups the professional ante.]

His co-workers Tom, Dick, and Harry laugh because they have faked the telegram. [Ups tension.]

The boss comes in to scold.  [Uh-oh.]

Tom, Dick, and Harry sweat as they see their joke go out of control.. [What will happen?]

The boss is so impressed by the win that he offers protagonist a bigger job. [More tension.]

Tom, Dick, and Harry try to confess, and are unable to. [Cliffhanger]

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: You can see how Sturges is in control.

The hijinks serve his irony (rather than hey-what-story-can-we-fit-around-this-joke).

Christmas in July (1940)
by Preston Sturges

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