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Bouquets of Faces: Christmas in July (1940, dir. Preston Sturges)

Of all the imageries of summer—cool, lapping waves on umbrella speckled beaches; picnics in green park paradises; cookouts beneath ravishing Fourth of July fireworks—my favorite is what opens Preston Sturges' Christmas in July (1940): people trying to stay cool in nighttime, hair mussed, irritated with the heat.
Looking back at this most Christmassy of summer films and most summery of Christmas films (take that, In the Good Old Summertime), I realize that's not quite how the opening scene plays out. True, it's night; true, it's July; and true, the first characters we see do have mussed hair and are irritated. But Sturges doesn't quite play up any late-night heatstroke or sweat-drenched denizens. And yet, when I remember its opening scene, even now, after being corrected, I'm still reminded of my own late night experiences in July with no A/C, sweating all to hell and watching black-and-white films like Christmas in July

The film begins as Sturges' name a…

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