Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1940. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Preston Sturges, based on his play A Cup Of Coffee. Cinematography by Victor Milner. Produced by Paul Jones. Music by John Leipold, Leo Shuken. Production Design by Hans Dreier, A. Earl Hedrick. Costume Design by Harriet Altland, Murray Foster, Joe Kaplan. Film Editing by Ellsworth Hoagland.
In this short, adorable feature, Dick Powell plays an office clerk who is tricked by his co-workers into thinking that he’s won a twenty-five thousand dollar contest for having supplied a coffee brand with a new nickname. His bosses promote him to an office job in advertising as reward, and he goes on a major spending spree with his fiancee before the truth finally hits and his dream threatens to go into complete reverse. While this isn’t one of Preston Sturges’ best works, anything he put his pen to is worth taking a look at. This one is especially memorable for taking the trappings of 1940s B-movies and thickening them up with some serious undertones (its look at poverty is more honest than any other film being made at the time) and lots of the chaotic fun that Sturges often put into his best sequences.