Preston Sturges's post-Depression Depression comedy. An office toiler at the low end of the wage scale, but with hope everpresent in his heart, enters a coffee company's slogan contest (his slogan: "If you can't sleep, it isn't the coffee; it's the bunk'), is hoaxed by his fellow workers into believing he has won, and immediately goes on a saintly Saint Nicholas gift-buying binge. The complications built out from that kernel, and particularly the love interest and the Little Guy sentimentality, do not hold strong for the full seventy minutes. But the dialogue, all throughout, turns up innumerable well-polished nuggets. Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn. (1941) — Duncan Shepherd
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