The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30 – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.
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’s 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)
Co-presented with portoluz–WPA 2.0: A Brand New Deal
67 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Short: Laurel & Hardy in “Thicker Than Water” (James W. Horne, 1935) – 16mm – 21 min