Watch Sullivan's Travels
- 1 hr 31 min
Sullivan's Travels is a 1941 satirical comedy and drama film from director Preston Sturges. The movie stars Joel McCrea as John L. Sullivan, a Hollywood director who is tired of making light, frivolous films and yearns to make something substantial and important. Sullivan convinces his studio bosses to give him the opportunity to make a serious social commentary film about the plight of the downtrodden and impoverished, called "O Brother, Where Art Thou?".
However, before he can start on this venture, Sullivan decides to experience poverty firsthand so he can truly understand what he's trying to portray on film. He disguises himself as a homeless man and sets out on a journey, planning to do research for his film by living amongst the working-class and impoverished people of America. This journey takes him on a roller-coaster ride of emotions as he witnesses the harsh realities of poverty, such as hunger, loneliness, and despair, all while encountering a host of memorable characters along the way.
Sullivan's journey is filled with humor, as he fumbles his way through various misadventures, such as getting arrested for vagrancy or being mistaken for a bank robber. Along the way, he runs into a woman named Veronica Lake, who plays herself in the film. Lake's character is a struggling actress, who initially does not recognize Sullivan in his homeless guise, and the two quickly develop a rapport, forming a bond that endures through the remainder of the movie.
As Sullivan learns more about the plight of the impoverished people he encounters, he realizes that his mission to make a serious social commentary film might be misguided. He comes to the conclusion that the working-class doesn't need a film reminding them of the hardships they face daily, but rather to be entertained and uplifted from their harsh realities. Sullivan's epiphany is a turning point in the film, as he abandons his serious film project and decides to make a comedy instead.
The last part of Sullivan's journey is a poignant one, as he puts his life at risk while trying to help a group of displaced people who live in a shack in the woods. At this point, the story becomes darker and more tragic, as Sullivan's journey takes on a serious tone, with moments of genuine peril and despair. However, it also leaves the viewer with a hopeful message about the strength, resilience, and goodness of the human spirit, especially in times of crisis and hardship.
Overall, Sullivan's Travels is a beautifully crafted and well-acted film that is both funny and profound. It deals with serious social issues while managing to keep a sense of humor throughout, and ultimately delivers an uplifting message about the importance of laughter, hope, and the human connection. The performances by Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake are outstanding in their naturalistic simplicity, and they have a fantastic chemistry that brings a warmth and depth to the story. The film's direction and screenplay are both masterful, with a blend of comedy, drama, and social commentary that is timeless and enduring. Sullivan's Travels is a must-see for anyone interested in classic Hollywood comedies or social commentary films.
Sullivan's Travels is a 1941 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9.