Christmas in July (1940) Script

...into a big airy bedroom.

Then the sideboard turns around and turns into the bathroom.

So you can eat and bathe? Course not.

Then what's it doing in the bathroom? Nothing. It turns into a bathroom.

Then another time it turns into a kitchenette.

Another time into a fireplace.

You can't light it but it looks awful cute.

What turns into a fireplace? This gig in the corner.

It turns around and makes one room into four rooms so young people who haven't much money can have a four-room apartment for the price of a one-room apartment.

One room isn't an apartment. They're called that.

It's the same as four rooms. But suppose I...

You turn this in the corner... Suppose I wanted to go to the fireplace while you were in the kitchenette.

You're trying to make things difficult.

Nothing's good enough for you except a palace on Fifth Avenue.

I give you coffee - the end of the perfect dinner, the beginning of the perfect day.

And now, the moment we have all been waiting for.

We are about to give you the result of the $50,000 Maxford House New Slogan contest, with a first prize of $25,000, a second prize of $5,000, a third prize of $2,500, a fourth prize of $1,500, a fifth prize of $1,000, and 95 other prizes totaling $15,000.

Some folks are going to be delirious in a few minutes. As you may well imagine, all that sugar draws a lot of flies and the jury here has been struggling to pick the winners from a little snowdrift of 2,947,582 answers.

That is a lot of answers in any language, including the Scandinavian.

Dr. Maxford, our founder and president, is at my side.

It will only be a matter of a few moments until the jury ceases wrestling and hands Dr. Maxford the verdict, and he will himself, in that well-known voice of his, read you the names of the winners.

We seem to have a little contretemps, fox pass or what have you, ladies and gentlemen.

But it will only be...

What's the matter? The jury is deadlocked!

Deadlocked? Eleven to one!

It will only be a few moments before the jury untangles itself, and we will hear the happy winners' names throughout the world.

Ahem. Just a little patience, ladies and gentlemen.

Can't you get it through... What's this about a deadlock?

Where's the verdict? Ask Bildocker.

And you'll get an answer, too. If you birds had the brains of a rooster...

I resent that. You may know about shipping but when eleven of us have agreed...

It'll be ten o'clock next week... Quiet!

...before I give in to bunch of fat-headed, mealy-mouthed lame brains who...

Quiet! Jumping Jehoshaphat!

Do you realize that we're on the air?

The whole of America's waiting for your verdict!

120 million people are suspended from your lips.

You're giving heart failure to the western hemisphere.

What do you know about picking slogans anyway?

You wouldn't know a slogan if you slipped on one.

If you gentlemen had the combined brains of an amoeba...

But we're all agreed, Dr. Maxford.

It's only Bildocker who's holding out.

Oh, it is, is it? Well, let me tell you something, Mr. Bildocker.

You've been getting into my hair for the past 20 years, and I meant to mention it before.

I'm going to give you four seconds...

No, you're not, Dr. Maxford.

I'm a member of this jury and I'm going to vote the way I think is right if it takes ten years.

You can fire me out of shipping but you aren't going to fire me off this jury because I don't work for you on this jury.

I'm giving my services free to the bunch of...

Who said anything about firing you, you lunkhead?

All I said was that I...

Yes? Oh, we are, are we?

Well, that's just lovely.

We're going off the air, gentlemen, so just take your time.

You can stay here till next Wednesday.

Or you can still here till Hoboken freezes over.

We have failed in our promise to the public.

We have muffed the most dramatic advertising moment in commerce, and you've made a fathead out of me.

The next nitwit who talks to me about a contest had better duck before I swing on him.

In conclusion, gentlemen, especially you, Mr. Bildocker, let me say that I have seen far better heads on... umbrellas!

And so, another broadcast slips into posterity, as we bring to a close the 449th Maxford House programme.

I wish I could have given you the news you wanted to hear.

But I will conclude with what the prisoner said when the hangman couldn't find the rope.

"No noose is good noose. " Ha, ha.

This is Don Hartman, wishing you all goodnight.

They build you up to a big finish and leave you hanging on a meat hook.

You heard what he said. No news is good news.

He said, "No noose is good noose. " So?

Oh, it doesn't matter. I wish they'd get it over with.

You start thinking about that $25,000, or even the $5,000...

Or anything. You said it.

When you've got it right in your mitts, they leave you with your tongue hanging out.

There ought to be a law against it.

Did you really think you'd win it? I haven't lost it yet.

How many have you lost? I don't know.

But every time I've lost a contest, I've doubled my chances on the next one.

It's the law of averages. Like when I lost the How Many Peanuts In The Window contest.

That doubled my chances... They put boxes under the peanuts.

They didn't ask how many boxes under the peanuts. They said...

"How many peanuts are in the window?" So I lost.

That doubled my chances on the You Fill In The Missing Words contest.

But you lost that one too. Fine.

I was eight to one in the limerick contest. But you didn't win it, Jimmy!

That's what makes it a cinch this time.

Can't you see it over there in lights?

The guy swallows his coffee, and it says, "If you don't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk. "

That's some slogan. Mm-hm.

Do you get the point? Do you understand what it means?

Yes... What do you mean, yes?

It's clear as crystal. "It isn't the coffee, it's the bunk. "

If you don't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee that keeps you awake, it's the bunk.

The bunk when you don't sleep! I know! I've heard it a thousand times!

I just don't understand it. Maybe you don't try to.

Maybe I don't. A kid of two could understand that.

This Viennese doctor says that whole idea's just a superstition, that instead of keeping you awake, coffee makes you sleep.

It's simple. Coffee makes you sleep. It doesn't make me sleep.

He's a Viennese doctor! Coffee keeps you awake!

Why are you so pig-headed about it? I'm not trying to contradict you...

It's the new scientific theory. It's the basis of my slogan.

People who think coffee keeps them awake are nervous wrecks anyway so why blame it on the coffee?

So I say, "If you don't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk. "

Do you get it? I guess so.

You guess so. What does it mean? It's the bunk.

Yes, but do you get the play on words? You don't need a play on words.

Any time anybody says coffee makes you sleep, it's bunk.

Don't you understand? It's funny. People are going to laugh.

It means it isn't the coffee that keeps you awake, it's the bed.

With me it's the coffee. Oh...

I want you to win it. I'm just as anxious as you are.

And when you lose this one, think how much better your chances will be on the next.

Fine chance I've got of winning anything if everybody says coffee keeps you awake.

Let's drink a gallon of coffee and see who sleeps the longest.

Oh, shut up. Jimmy!


Yes, ma'am.

Mr. Zimmerman says will you not talk so loud?

He's trying to go to sleep. Tell him to drink a cup of coffee.

And don't take cold up there. Is Betty warm enough?

Yes, thank you, Mrs. MacDonald. All right, dear.

I'd like you just as much if you didn't win the old contest.

That's because you're a sap. Maybe I am.

But if I am I'm glad of it. You know how we feel about each other.

Nix. It's true, isn't it?

You can't say I'm being forward. Not much.

I'm not. Time is slipping by and we're not getting any younger.


Two can live as cheaply as one.

Who wants to live cheaply? Cut it out, will you?

What would you do if you won the $25,000?

Stick it in the bank.

Wouldn't you even buy a little ring or something?

I don't like rings on a man. Oh, you.

What's the use of talking about it? You know I'd spend it on you and mum.

I'd get you a new shiny car and a swell apartment.

Maybe one of those little dream houses in the suburbs, some hired help.

Maybe a trip to Europe. Maybe the Grand Canyon would be better nowadays.

We'd be happy all right. We could be happy anyway.

Everything that means happiness costs money.

How much was your dad making when he married your mom?

18 bucks a week. Well?

You think that proves something?

She's never been to the country for more than a day.

Never had any nice furniture.

The dream of her life is a Davenport that turns into a double bed at night-time.

She's never had a nice dress except those she made herself.

I wore the old man's stuff cut down until I got my first job and he was worn out at 48 and croaked because he couldn't afford a doctor.

Where do you get that $18 a week stuff?

I earn $18 and you earn $22 and that's $40.

Sure and you've got your ma and I've got mine.

You get a kid and you have to stop work and we're right back at the $22 again.

Except then there's you and the kid and the two old ladies and me.

But Jimmy... Nix, honey.

They didn't give you wrists and hands like that to spoil in a washtub for a poor sap like me.

But Jimmy... You gotta look out for yourself.

You gotta see the main chance and grab it, the chance of plenty of money.

Men look out for themselves. They think about nothing but money.

A girl's got to do the same instead of fooling away her time on a guy like me.

Unless he crashes through. You make me tired.

Then go to bed. That's a nice thing to say.

Invite a girl over and yell at her.

If I wanted to be insulted, I could have gone out with the credit manager.

Who's stopping you? Thank you, Mr. MacDonald.

It's nice to know where you stand. I'm sorry.

Maybe I will go out with the credit manager. Good night.

Wait and I'll help you. I don't need any help.


Kindly let go of my arm. Why don't you watch your step?

Why don't you mind your own business? Oh, shut up.

Why don't you shut up? Why don't you both shut up?


They got up there a horse yet?

Wait for your laugh. Wise guy.

Bread and butter. Bread and butter.

Don't fall down the ladder. I've been down it before.

You fell down it before too.

Good night. Good night.

See you at the office. Aren't you going to take me?

All right.

Good night, Jimmy. Good night.

Good night. Good night.


Good night, honey. Good night, darling.

Good night. Good night.

Good night!

I tell you, it makes you sleep. OK, it makes you sleep.

And water runs uphill and dogs miaow and cats bark and water's red-hot in the winter and freezes over in the summer.

You're a dreamer. Just like your father.

With him it was always automobiles where the wind, it scooped it up in the front and pushed out the back to make it go, or some such.

There's no wind blowing out of my ideas.

Pretty windy. Have you got car fare? Think so.


Make a wish. What falls to the floor comes to the door.

All right. There's nothing to laugh about.

I mind the time your father, may his soul be peaceful, dropped a quarter down a crack, and it wasn't an hour till a near-sighted man gave him a five-dollar gold piece instead of a nickel in paying his fare.

We went to Coney that night. What was wrong with Pa's eyes?

He was looking somewhere else.

There was nothing the matter with your father.

He was a fine-looking conductor.

He was. You'd seem a shrimp beside him.

I would. Don't say anything against him.

I'm not saying anything against him, Mum.

Well, watch your step.

Jimmy. Yes'm?

There's money in your cup.

So the sucker says, "Is Mr. Fish there?"

And the guy says, "Which one do you want? This is the New York Aquarium. "

The best one is, you say, "This is the Edison Company.

"Would you mind seeing if the street light's burning in front of your house?"

And when the poor mug says, "Yes, it is," you say, "Well, blow it out, will you?"

Hello, is this the Maxford House Coffee Company?

Could you tell me if the jury's reached a verdict on the contest yet?

They haven't? Then there's still a chance for everybody, huh?

Thanks just the same.

I wonder what one of those suckers would do if they ever did win.

Well, it's very easy to find out.

All you need is a telegraph blank, some scissors and some glue.

Cut it in strips, do it on the blank. Holy mackerel.

Good afternoon, Miss Casey.

Good morning, Mr. Waterbury.

Good morning, John.

Jams. It's been doing that quite a lot lately.

The wonder is it works at all. Yes, sir.

Come into my office a moment, Mr. MacDonald.

Yes, sir.

I've been watching you for some time, Mr. MacDonald.

Yes, sir. It used to make me kind of nervous.

Not nervous any more? No, sir.

Are you a drinking man, then? Sir?

This is part of your yesterday's work. I believe your number is 112?

Yes, sir.

The computing machine is almost foolproof, Mr. MacDonald, yet you managed to miss your total by a little matter of $11,000 on this one sheet.

To what do you attribute that?

I, er... I don't know, Mr. Waterbury.

You know simple arithmetic, don't you?

You know the difference between addition, subtraction and possibly multiplication?

Yes, sir. I'm pretty good at it.

Have you troubles at home? You henpecked? Suffering from a broken heart?

Had your teeth examined lately?

Or are you purely and simply incapable of doing your work?

Well, I... I guess it's the contest, Mr. Waterbury, the Maxford House contest.

I had no idea it was hurting my work.

How much is the prize? The first prize is $25,000.


I used to think about $25,000 too, and what I'd do with it.

That I'd be a failure if I didn't get a hold of it.

And then one day I realized I was never going to have $25,000.

And then another day a little bit later, considerably later, I realized something else, something I'm imparting to you now, Mr. MacDonald.

I'm not a failure. I'm a success.

You see, ambition is all right if it works.

But no system could be right where only half of one per cent were successes and all the rest were failures.

I'm not a failure. I'm a success.

So are you if you earn your own living and pay your bills and look the world in the eye.

I hope you win your $25,000, Mr. MacDonald.

But if you shouldn't happen to, don't worry about it.

Now get the heck back to your desk and try to improve your arithmetic.

Yes, sir, Mr. Waterbury.

Thank you. It's all right.

Wow! Oh, honey, look!

Hey, everybody! Hey, everybody! Come here?

Get up here, honey.


There comes a time in everybody's life when he's got to get up and let it rip!

Wow! In other words, boys and girls, I just won the $25,000 first prize in the Maxford House contest.

Hey, give me a phone. Boy, this is gonna be good.

Hello? Give me Astoria 59970. This is really gonna be good.

Hello, is this Mrs. Schwartz? Yes.

This is Jimmy. Hello, Mrs. Schwartz.

I hate to bother you but could I talk to my mom? It's important.

Thank you. I'll let you use my phone when I get one.

Hello, Mum? This is Jimmy.

I'm going to tell you something. Don't be frightened.

You're not hurt? Course I'm not hurt!

Mum, would I call you up from under a streetcar?

Mum, are you a rich woman or a poor woman?

No, I'm not crazy with the heat, I'm just asking you a question.

Are you a rich woman or a poor woman?

You're all wet! I said you're all wet, Mum.

Buy yourself anything you want. Furniture, automobiles, dresses.

Electric washer. Electric washer!

You know the one you like? It's yours.

The Davenport. The one that turns into a double bed.

It's yours, Mum. And anything else you want. All you gotta do is tell me.

It's gonna cost you a Davenport. I'll tell the world I got a raise.

Wow, he got a raise! Put him out of his misery.

Hey, the boss. What is going on around here?

What is this? A football game?

Quiet! I said quiet! Or there will be severe consequences.

What are you doing on that desk? Never mind! You're fired as of this minute.

What's your name? James MacDonald.

This is my fiancée, Miss Casey.

Well, let that be a lesson to you.

What is so funny about that?

What is the meaning of this demonstration, Mr. Waterbury?

I demand an explanation, and it had better be good.

It is very good, sir. It appears this lad...

What? What? What?


Mr. Baxter. What do you want?

If anyone ought to be fired, it's me.

Never mind the noble gestures. I'll decide what's what.

Save that Rover Boy stuff for your spare time.

See that this young man is paid off, and don't let this reoccur.

There's a very good reason...

Has it anything to do with this company? No, but...

Then I don't care to hear about it! But you do care to hear about it.

How was that? I say you do care to hear about it.

You couldn't have understood what was said.

These children are part of your family.

Anything that happens to them happens to you.

So if you don't care to hear, you must have misunderstood.

What is all this?

This young man, this minor employee of yours, has just won the $25,000 Maxford House New Slogan contest.

He and he alone was chosen winner over millions of contestants.

And I say that is reason enough for rejoicing.

Well, I should say it is.

If you'll kindly get down off my furniture, I'd like to congratulate you, Mr...


Well, more power to you. Thank you, sir.

I suppose I'll have to hire you back on a fat increase.

I don't think that will be necessary, Mr. Baxter.

I've always liked it here and... Oh, I guess a raise would come in handy.

And you really won the Maxford House contest, eh?

That's what the telegram said. They wanted a new slogan?

Yes, sir. It's about time they changed the old one.

What was your slogan?

"If you don't sleep at nights, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk. "

Do you get it? It's a play on words. It means if you don't sleep at night...

But coffee keeps you awake. No, no, no, sir.

This scientist... It's a clever idea just the same.

It isn't the coffee, it's the bunk.

That ought to be good for the whole industry.

Did you get any ideas for Baxter and Sons while you were inventing slogans for competitors?

We make coffee too, you know. I certainly did, Mr. Baxter.

I've been trying to tell them to the advertising department.

I've been down there about a thousand times.

You see, we don't advertise enough.

How would you like to come and tell me a few of these ideas?

Yes, sir. Oh, Jimmy.

You can come too, my dear.

Then I'd put out a secondary brand to catch the in-between trade.

Say, uh... "Waterbury's. It's the berries. "

What do you mean, Waterbury... Let him go on.

Because if Baxter's is the best, we've got to charge more for it.

We've got to have a slogan. Word of mouth is OK if you've got the right words.

Make a note of that, Miss Pettypass.

I tried to find a slogan that implied that Baxters was the finest of its class.

Say... Not "The aristocrat of coffee". That's been used too much.

But, er... say, er...

"The blue-blood coffee. It's bred in the bean. "

See? As if every bean in our coffee had a pedigree.

"Baxter's Best. The blueblood coffee. "

"It's bred in the bean. " "It's bred in the bean. "

Wonderful. How about that one?

The only trouble with it is I didn't think of it myself.

"It's bred in the bean. " I can see it all over the nation.

In every nook and dell.

Jimmy, you're a genius.

Now that you're a capitalist, I don't know how you feel about working for a living, but if you'd care to have an office...

You mean to myself? With his name on the door?

Naturally. And this young lady as your secretary.

And a reasonable stipend to be determined upon later.

I see no reason why we shouldn't shake hands on it now.

Go ahead, Jimmy. Gee whizz, Mr. Baxter.

I should say I would, and how I would!

I suppose you'd like to have the afternoon off while we get your office ready?

I'd certainly appreciate it, Mr. Baxter.

Can she come along too? Why of course she can!

And a little bird tells me what kind of store you're going to be visiting first.

A little jewellery store, I'll wager, eh?

I guess you're not far wrong.

But first I think I'll go to Maxford House and pick up that cheque.

Oh, yes. We'd almost forgotten about that, hadn't we?

Almost but not quite.

What was your Maxford House slogan again?

"It isn't the bunk, it's the coffee. "

No, no! "It isn't the coffee, it's the bunk. "

Isn't that marvelous?

"If you don't sleep at night it isn't the, uh... "

Yes, but, "It's bred in the bean. "

That's the one for my money. Functional.

Precisely. Well, Mr. Baxter, I thank you.

I don't know what to say.

Thank you, Mr. Jenkins. It'll be a pleasure working with you.

Thank you, Mr. Waterbury, and thank you, Mr. Babcock, and thank you, Miss Pettypass and...

And how.

Well, goodbye. Goodbye.

Bye. Goodbye.

A big future. Immense.

I've had my eye on him for some time. Huh?

Look, kid... What?

Can I talk to you? It's important.

Can you tell me tomorrow? I've got to go to the Maxford House and get my cheque.

That's what I want to talk about. Harry and Dick and I... Well...

Well, what? It's like this. You see, we...

Oh, MacDonald. Yes, sir?

Was that "It's bred in the bean," or just plain "Bred in the bean"?

"It's. " Just "Bred in the bean" might sound like bread, like bread and butter.

Naturally. I don't know why I didn't realize. Is that all, sir?

Yes. Have a nice time and don't spend all your money in one place.

Thank you, sir. Goodbye. Goodbye.

Great mind.

Did you wish to speak to me, Darcy?

Who, me? Oh, no, sir. I was just watching them go out.

Well, it's been quite an exciting day, hasn't it?

Yeah, and it ain't even over yet.

I said, "You can stay here till Hoboken freezes over. "

I should have fired all of them. I was mortified.

The biggest moment in commercial annals muffed by a gang of horse whistlers who wouldn't know a slogan from a poke in the eye with a stick.

I thought I'd die of embarrassment. I wish they'd died of lockjaw.

What good are these contests, anyway?

They disrupt the entire organization, they make you millions of enemies, and all they prove is that you're making too much money, since you can afford to toss it to some saphead who probably never had a cup of your coffee but lives on goats' milk.

Have they reached a verdict yet? I don't know or care.

If they hold off until our next broadcast...

No, no! That would be the intelligent thing to do.

That would be useful to the company that clothes and feeds them and sends their children to college so they can be dumbbells like their parents.

- What do you want? The contest winner is here.

- The contest winner? Yes, sir. How do you like that? First they bottle up the biggest scoop of the year, then when they get good and ready they...

All right, send him in.

You can go in now. Thanks.

I guess I'd better wait here. Come on in.

No, maybe you had better wait here. We're a little excited.

You would be. Congratulations. Thanks. I mean, for him.

For both of us.


Of all the confounded...

Come in!

How do you do? I suppose I have the honor of addressing Dr. Maxford, I presume?

Right. And this is Don Hartman, my announcer.

Well, Mr. Hartman, it certainly is a pleasure to meet you.

I've enjoyed your personality on the air.

Congratulations to you. Thank you.

Here's the telegram, Mr. Maxford... Dr. Maxford.

Yes, yes, yes.

Oh, yes. "Great pleasure in informing you... $25,000.

"Kindly call and pick up your cheque. "

Bildocker has a great sense of the dramatic.

You aren't by any chance a coffee drinker, are you?

Yes, I certainly am. That's surprising.

Do you, by any chance, drink my coffee?

No, sir, you see, I... Yes, that sounds more natural.

But I could easily change. That won't be necessary.

I wouldn't want anybody to think I had any base commercial motives.

I just give money away because I can't sleep at night.

I have a guilty conscience. That's my slogan. The one I won with.

I guess you know all about that. A guilty conscience, eh?

I can see that my money is well spent. That's a great slogan.

No, sir. "If you can't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk. "

I beg your pardon? It's a pun.

It certainly is. It's great. Thank you.

I can hardly wait to give you my money.

Bring me that contest cheque.

I don't know if you've ever had anything like this happen to you, but to be poor and unknown one minute and on top of the world the next, that's a feeling nobody can take from me.

Well, I... To know I won this contest because I thought up the best slogan means more to me that anything on earth.

I'll tell you why. If you...

I used to think maybe I had good ideas and was gonna get somewhere, but now I know it, and that's what I want to thank you for, more than the money.

Did you want the $25,000 one? That's right.

When they choose a winner? They didn't bother to inform me.

James MacDonald. Is that Mac or Mc?

It's Mac, sir.

My, uh... My grandmother was Scottish.

Mine was Lithuanian.

Here you are, young man.

It is customary under these circumstances to have photographers present, a couple of reporters and even newsreels and broadcasting machinery.

But since we do everything here on a very high, non-commercial plain, I merely take pleasure in giving you this small cheque, Mr. MacDonald.

That's all there is to it. Thank you, Dr. Maxford.

I don't know how I can find words... Never mind about them.

Just goodbye and good luck.

Oh, boy.

- Now get me Bildocker! Yes, sir.

Oh, gee!

She's a little bit excited. Yes.

He's as cool as ice.

Well, goodbye. Goodbye.

Goodbye. Goodbye.


- Yes? Mr. Bildocker isn't in his office. Well, why not? Where is he? Down in the lobby playing marble games?

Find him and tell him... Never mind. I'll tell him myself.

"It isn't the coffee, it's the bunk"!

Oh, isn't it beautiful, Jimmy?

Holy smoke, I should say it is. This is a trifle on the large side.

Now, here is a stone of more practical dimensions.

Fiery little devil, isn't it?

Does the magnifying glass go with it?

It's up to you. I was only trying to be helpful, that's all.

It's immaterial to me how big a ring you... look at.

Now how about... Just a minute.

Fresh guy.

What do you think of this, for instance?

How much is it? $12,000.

I wouldn't care to spend that much. You wouldn't?

No. But I could if I felt like it. You could?

Oh. Well, that puts everything on an entirely different basis.

Let me see. I'm in love with this one.

Oh. Do you think it's showy enough?

I wouldn't want it to be showy. Oh, yes.

There's no denying it's a friendly little piece.

Well, then, I guess we'll take it. Yes, sir.

Oh, Jimmy!

I haven't got any cash with me but... Ah.

But I've got a cheque here. Uh-huh. May I see it, please?


Well, well. Mr. Schmidt! Step this way immediately, please.

Well, well. I won the Maxford House contest.

Isn't it wonderful? Well, I should say it is.

A thousand congratulations. Uh... 25,000 congratulations.

For heaven's sakes. Mr. Schmidt!

Yes, yes, Mr. Hillbeiner, I'll be there presently.

Kindly cut a groove, will you? Sir.

Hillbeiner has been drinking again.


Shindel Brothers wants to know if that $25,000 cheque of yours is good. Good? Tell them I'll match mine against theirs any day and give them six to four.

- Yes, sir. Is it good?

The Davenola. Now watch closely.

I merely remove two cushions, place my finger on the button marked "Night", and with one easy push of the finger, we have a double bed, a radio, an ashtray for those who smoke in bed, a reading lamp for the reader, a telephone and many other accessories.

Pausing merely to slip a pillow slip over the day cushion...

we complete the metamorphosis.

Everything under fingertip control throughout.

There is no limit to man's ingenuity.

Isn't that wonderful? Comes the morrow.

A flick of the wrist...

a thorough airing...

a gentle pressure on the button marked "Day"... et voilà, as the French would say, ready for breakfast, a rousing book or a gentle game of bridge.

The price, 198.50 plus tax.

We'll take it.

What a bargain you're getting. Pardon?

I'm Mr. Shindel, Mr. MacDonald. Congratulations. Here's your cheque.

And what a cheque. Thanks. How soon can you send it?

It's there. Make that a special, Hillbeiner.

Would your mother like one? No. We haven't got room.

We got to get everybody something.

Mama's been wanting a new iron.

She's got it. Have you got irons?

Have we got irons? Huh! They do everything but sing.

We gotta get something for Mrs. Schwartz, Sophie, Mrs. Zimmerman, the Casey kids...

Aren't you afraid of spending too much?

The Finnegans. Patrolman Murphy.

Tony Mozepo. And Mr. Rosenblatt.

We better just work up one side of the street and down the other.

Oh, Jimmy!

I don't like to take all this without paying for it, Mr. Shindel.

Nonsense. We know an honest man when we see one, don't we, boys?


Why don't you take this cheque and give me the change?

We should have change for such a cheque?

Excuse me.

What a bargain. Thank you.

I'll bring you a cheque as soon as I put this in the bank.

Who's in a hurry? Drop in any time. Drop in tomorrow.

Here are the flowers. Thank you.

A little souvenir. Don't forget to call again, Mr. MacDonald.

No, sir, I won't. Goodbye.

Goodbye, Mr. Shindel.

Goodbye, Mr. Schmidt! Goodbye, Mr. MacDonald.

Goodbye Mr. Hillbeimer. Hillbeiner.

Goodbye Mr. Heilbimmer. That's close enough. It's all right.

Come and see us again. Thank you. Goodbye.

Have you got all your bundles now?


What a boy. What a business.

Oh, I'm so happy. I feel kind of good myself.

Can you see the faces on everybody when we get there?

Yeah. Like Christmas in July.

Well, happy New Year.

It will be a happy new year from now on.

Everything new and clean and different.

Just think, Jimmy. No more worry. That's right.

That's the only terrible thing about being poor.

What kind of a house will we have? Any kind you like.

How about a penthouse? They come high, don't they?

No, I don't think... Oh, you fool!

Will you love me for always? Of course I will.

For always and always? I don't know why not.

It might be a long time.

The longer the sweeter, baby.

And then he says, "Mum, you're all wet. You can buy anything you want.

"An automobile, new dresses, furniture, the Davenport, anything. "

My Irving, he drinks too. Once in a while, a little bit.

Not so little. Yes, I know.

But Jimmy doesn't. He wouldn't take a drink unless something happened.

Maybe he lost his job. He said he got a raise.

Who's giving raises these days?

I can't think what has happened.

They're bringing him home.

Who asked you something? No...

Don't you worry. Maybe just a little accident.

Maybe just a leg or a finger.

Come here quick! Hurry up!

What is it? A funeral.

Hey, Mum, come on down. You too, Mrs. Schwartz.

You too, Mama! We got presents for everybody!

He's drunk. Jimmy!

I'm all right, Mum. Come on down.


Was somebody hurt? Jimmy came home in a taxicab.

I got a big surprise here. I wanna start with Sophie.

Careful, now.

I've got a present for you, Sophie. For me?

Yes. Open it up.


In a minute. Take it easy. Take it easy, there's something for everybody, I think.


What's happened? Are you hurt? What's going on here?

I wasn't lying to you. The Davenport is on the way.

Wait till you see it, Mum. Then you did get a raise.

Oh, glory!

Mom! Here's one for you.

Oh, Mom!

Why don't you get wise to yourself? Who do you think you are anyway?

If it's good enough for us, who are you to say...

It stinks. It stinks. He stinks.

One more crack out of you and I'll bust you right in the nose.

Let's see you do it. I will, you snake-eyed...

Sit down before you burst a blood vessel. Sit down, Bildocker.

Let's talk this over in a nice friendly way.

We think, "Maxford's. Magnificent and mellow. Just what the doctor ordered. "

It's brief, it's smooth, it's pungent. It's putrid.

Why is it putrid, Bildocker? Because it stinks.

Why isn't he back? Where is he? In the barber shop?

Never mind him. Tell him to go soak his head in a barrel.

- Is Mr. Einbrewster there? No, sir. Why? Where is everybody? Playing pool?

- Is Mr. Grobel there? No, sir. Is he having an operation? What kind of a firm is this?

- He's in the contest room. What do you mean?

- The contest is over. He's down there. What are they doing? Playing poker? Never mind. I'll find out myself.

Horse feathers!

Don't be vulgar, Bildocker! Or what?

Who are you?

Well, what are you arguing about now?

Now, would you get back to your offices and try and sell some coffee for a change?

Or am I being too commercial? And while I'm on that subject, I wanna tell you that of all the congregations of fatheads that I've ever gazed upon, you take the lardpail!

So kiss each other goodbye. All except you, Bildocker.

What about the contest? What about it?

Now you've killed it, you want a postmortem?

Shouldn't we choose a winner? You did.

We certainly did not. You certainly did. What do you mean?

We haven't reached a verdict. You certainly have reached a verdict.

Are you trying to tell me that you haven't reached a verdict yet?

We have not. Then why did you send him a telegram?

Send who a telegram? McTavish!

We didn't send... Who's McTavish? You certainly did send a telegram!

We certainly did not send a telegram.

You didn't? Well, then who... who...? Who...?

Jumping Jerusalem!

Get my lawyer! Which one?

Schubel, Snivel, Abercrombie and Snitch!

Quiet! Get me Shindel Bros!

We have to keep cool and collected! Collected! Holy moley!

Bank the call Bank the call?

Call the bank! What's the matter with you? Holy mackerel!

What? Give me a hat.

Get me Minsk, Minsk, Binsk and Binsk. What kind of a hat, Mr. Shindel?

A hat! Yes, sir.



No, go! We'll go with you!

Jimmy! We're running low. Get another load.

Mary? Where's Mary? All right, Mary.

Marsha? Marsha, there you are.

Nobody's been forgotten. Be careful.

You forgot to get a present for yourself. What?

You forgot to get a present for yourself. I don't need one, I've got you.

It's a big fish. No...

There he is! Come on, grab him!

Look, Jimmy!

Here's your Davenport, mom. Wait till you see it!

Come on, get him! Take him away!

Hey, you! What...?

What's the idea, busting up my plane?

It's my plane. Jimmy MacDonald gave it to me!

Yeah? When I get through with him... What's going on?

Officer, arrest all these people. Who do you think you are? Hitler?

Listen, you...

You listen to me, baby... Well, can't you do something?

Say, er, hey...

No! No! This belongs to Shindel Brothers.

Come and help me!

No! No! Be sensible, girl.

What are you doing? This is stolen.

Oh, it is, is it?

He who laughs last lasts laughs!

Everything is stolen, down to the last pogo stick - everything.

Ah, you see? "Shindel Brothers. Toy Land. "

He comes into my store with a phony cheque and...

Who came into your store with a phony cheque?

He ain't even got the decency to run away! Lowlife.

Listen you... Officer, arrest him.

You starting that again? What?

I've known that kid since he was knee-high to a cockroach.

What's he supposed to have done? Supposed to have done?

He's supposed to have given me a sour cheque, then he's supposed to have bought a diamond ring - which I suppose I don't see there - and a nice fur coat.

Then he takes half the toys, waves the rubber cheque, and leaves.

Who says it's a rubber cheque?

Dr. Maxford of Maxford House.

Dr. Maxford gave me the cheque himself.

Mr. Swindle... Shindel.

I know this boy since his poppa and momma wasn't even married yet.

The whole family is a little bit crazy.

$25,000- can you imagine? A dreamer.

Mrs. Schwartz, Mr. Zimmerman... Let me handle this.

He gave me a cheque.

If he says he did... ... then he did.

Just go home and think it all over.

I'll break you in so many pieces... You're all witnesses!

Trying to imitate an officer? Who's imitating anybody?

Officer! Officer, arrest this man!

That's been tried. There's been some sort of mix-up here...

You have the effrontery even to speak to me?

What? I just want you to tell them that you gave me a cheque.

What cheque? The one in your office.

Let me see it. Certainly.

Oh, that cheque. Boy, do I feel better!

Hey, you're destroying the evidence. Who are you?

Shindel! Officer, arrest these people!

Listen, Mussolini... If there's something wrong what did you give me the cheque for?

You know perfectly well, in my life I never heard of you!

You didn't give me a cheque? That was by mistake.

I was suspicious of you as soon as I saw you.

You mean I didn't win?

You know perfectly well you didn't win!

But... He's entirely responsible, I see it all.

I know how big firms work, God forbid.

This is an honest boy. I knew it the minute I looked at him.

You gave him that cheque, you numbskull. I should take back the merchandise I sold.

Carry that Davenport upstairs for the lady. A present from Dr. Maxford.

And buy the children more ice cream - they'll enjoy my toys much better.

Dr. Maxford is paying. I'll see you in Hoboken before I pay!

And I'll see you in court, and you'll pay for everything. With costs!

In a pig's nose! Pigs or no pigs.

And another thing...

Oh, you will, will you?

Don't take the good ones.

It doesn't matter, honey. You can't lose anything you never had.

I don't want his old ring or... or his old skunk.

What I can't figure is who sent that telegram.

Hello, Jimmy. Hello, Betty.

Hello. Hello.

What's that? Is this the Davenport your ma wanted?

The crank fits on here and when you turn it it...

Makes into a full-size double bed at night. Guy said it works swell.

What did you go get that for?

Well, we kinda hoped that it might make up for the... phony telegram.

It was a joke. It wasn't very funny.

Oh. I get it.

Oh, Jimmy...

Hi, Mr. Jimmy! Hello, Sam. The boss gone yet?

No, he's still in there conniving on something.

Tell him in the morning. I was glad to hear about your good luck.

Do you need a valet? No thanks, Sam.

Well, sir, I guess you is right - pride rides before a fall.

But not everybody hits the jackpot while they is young and all.

You said it.

Look. Hello, pussy.

Is it good luck when a black cat crosses your path?

That all depends on what happens afterwards.

You said it.

Sure don't happen to everybody, sir!

Yes, sir. Look.

Good evening.

Pretty snazzy, eh? Yeah.


Thank you.

Be careful. We will.

It was gonna be nice, wasn't it?

Stop it, honey. Come on, now, cut it out. Come on.

Come in.

I hope I'm not intruding? No, sir, I was just coming to see you.

We stopped to look at the office...

So I see. I hope you like it. It's beautiful.

It isn't every young man who gets his own office and a private secretary at your age.

With many of them I'd be afraid it would go to their heads but you have your feet on the ground. Thank you, sir.

I mean it sincerely. Mr. Jenkins and I discussed our little meeting after you left and I want you to know that we were genuinely impressed - genuinely so.

That's nice to hear... The more we thought about your ideas the more aware we became of their pungency, their brevity, their crispness.

Thank you, sir, it's... You have a genuine talent for slogans.

It must be like having an ear for music.

Take me, I sing flat. You, on the other hand, are a born sloganeer.

"It's bred in the bean. " Hot ziggety!

Well, it's certainly wonderful to hear, Mr. Baxter. You've made me feel a lot better.

They're still the same ideas, aren't they?

If they were good this afternoon they're still good. They're the same.

Of course they are. Of course they are.

I'm not quite sure I have your thought. You still think they're good, don't you?

Well, of course I do. Why?

Since they were good and they're still good they have to be good.

And then it wouldn't make any difference if I hadn't won the Maxford House contest.

Would it? Of course it would.

Oh, it would. Certainly it would.

Why? I'm no genius, I didn't keep my father's money by backing my own judgment.

I make mistakes every day - I've got a whole warehouse full of mistakes.

I should say it would make a difference.

You see, I think your ideas are good because they sound good to me but I know your ideas are good because you won this contest over millions of aspirants.

But Mr. Baxter... Call it commercial insurance.

When a horse wins the derby you back him for the breaker.

I didn't win it. The breaker?

The contest. It was a joke.

A joke? That's what they meant it to be.

Who did? Some of the fellas.

They wanted to see how I'd look when I got the news.

Tell me their names and we'll see how they look when I give them some news!

I wouldn't care to do that, I... Oh, it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter?

After I spent a whole afternoon listening to a lot of... baloney?

Entirely predicated on the winning of this contest? And giving you this office?

But what about my slogan? I don't know, what about it?

We'll find that out! There'll be plenty of time for that.

But I won't made a fool of. I can't go around giving out private offices and secretaries on the strength of a prank that personally I consider far from funny!

Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

It's gonna be hard to face that gang tomorrow if I'm back at that desk.

It would be just as hard to face them from in here if you didn't belong here.

He does belong in here. What is the joke this time?

He belongs in here because he thinks he does.

That's very high-falutin' but from a practical...

It is practical, Mr. Baxter. The most practical idea you ever had.

He belongs in here because he thinks he has ideas.

He belongs in here until he proves himself or fails and then somebody else until he proves himself or fails and so on and so on for always.

I don't know how to put it into words like Jimmy could but... all he wants, all any of them want, is a... is a chance to show...

To find out what they've got while they're still young and... and burning like a short cut or a stepping stone.

I know they're not gonna succeed, at least most of them aren't.

Most of them will be like Mr. Waterbury soon enough.

But they won't mind it, they'll be happy because they had their chance.

Because it's one thing to muff a chance when you get it but... it's another thing never to have had a chance.

And his name's already on the door.

Well, if anything decided me that would be it.

Oh, Mr. Baxter... You've talked enough.

The desks have already been moved and the name is painted on, as you said.

So we'll try it for a very short time, at no advance in salary, you understand.

Yes, sir. And for a very short time.

Yes, sir. This is a business, not a cultural project.

You'll never be sorry. I'm sorry already, so let it go at that.

Good night and try to be on time in the morning.

Oh... pshaw!

Isn't it wonderful? You were wonderful.

But I'm a bit leery about me. Don't talk like a fathead.

This is the chance of a lifetime and you know you've got what it takes.

I didn't until I got that telegram and now I don't know any more.

I'm like Mr. Baxter, that's why I didn't speak.

Well, it brought us together and that's something.

I got the ring to prove it, and you can't back out now or I'd sue you.

Oh, you poor kid.

You'll see we have plenty to be thankful for.


There's that cat again. Hello.

Good night! Good night, Sam.

Look. Yeah.

Sure looked funny this afternoon. Ah, the old buzzard.

Were you to a fish fry, Dr. Maxford? No, I wasn't.

Smells like a seven-course banquet. I wasn't to a banquet!

Dr. Maxford! What do you want?

I got some good news. It took some doing but I won those clerks over.

The way I feel, Bildocker, it just doesn't matter any more.

This is the stupidest, the most asinine...!

Listen to the slogan! I don't wish to hear the slogan!

I don't wish to hear any more about the whole mess!

Pick your winner, send him a cheque and tell him to go...

Listen to this, will ya? Is this good!

"If you don't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk. "

Is that a slogan? It's what you call a pun. Believe me, it's some pun!

We just sent the winner a telegram, a guy called James MacDon...