One of his more interesting and intelligent films from a repertoire of about twelve films in his entire career, Sturges' Sullivan's Travels satirizes Hollywood pretension and excesses with his particular brand of sophisticated verbal wit and dialogue, satire and fast-paced slapstick. Gulliver’s Travels recounts the story of Lemuel Gulliver, a practical-minded Englishman trained as a surgeon who takes to the seas when his business fails. A satire on the film industry, it follows a famous Hollywood comedy director who, longing to make a socially relevant drama, sets out to live as a vagrant drifter to gain life experience for his forthcoming film, and unites with a poor aspiring actress along the way. His British butler and valet openly question the wisdom of his plan. His "widow" has already married his business manager, so he realizes she will have to give him a divorce or be charged with bigamy. Read Full Synopsis The film was re-released in the UK with a restored print on May 12, 2000. Sturges wanted the film to begin with the prologue: "This is the story of a man who wanted to wash an elephant. The elephant darn near ruined him. Media historian Hal Erickson classified it as a "classic", "one of the finest movies about movies ever made" and a "masterpiece". FULL SYNOPSIS. By the time the film hit theaters, world forces has conspired to push the Depression to the finish line by lifting it and carrying it there. Sturges had wanted to use a clip from a Charlie Chaplin film for the church scene, but was turned down by Chaplin. SEE DETAILS, when you purchase an Edible Movie Night Gift Box. LeBrand wants him to direct another lucrative comedy instead, but Sullivan refuses. Sullivan's Travels Synopsis. There, in a diner, Sullivan meets a young struggling actress who has failed to make it in Hollywood and is just about to give up and go home. John L. Sullivan: There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. In a deadpan first-person narrative that rarely shows any signs of self-reflection or deep emotional response, Gulliver narrates the adventures that befall him on these travels. In order to understand what it means to be poor, Sullivan decides to live like a homeless person for a while. The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists: The two Writers Guilds of America voted the screenplay for Sullivan's Travels as the 29th greatest ever written,[21] as well as the 35th funniest. Derek Malcolm. 61 Greatest American Movie of All Time. The most ambitious of Preston Sturges' string of 1940s classics, Sullivan's Travels is a brilliant mixture of genres, combining giddy comedy with often brutal realism, made all the more powerful by the contrast. Sullivan's Travels was not immediately successful at the box office as were earlier Sturges films such as The Great McGinty and The Lady Eve, and received mixed critical reception. Sullivan and the girl are briefly apprehended by police, but let free. Ade Binelli. McCrea refused to work with her again, and subsequently turned down a lead role with her in I Married a Witch. This was originally intended to be spoken by Sullivan. Reportedly, Lake was disliked by a few of her co-stars. But The Hollywood Reporter said that it lacked the "down to earth quality and sincerity which made [Sturges's] other three pictures of 1941 – The Great McGinty, The Lady Eve, and Christmas in July – "a joy to behold". [12], Diabolique magazine said "The Girl", Veronica Lake, "is captivating, magical, and extremely sexy, whether sitting on McCrea’s lap in a bathrobe and combing his hair or walking along the road in a hobo overcoat...She wasn’t great with all her dialogue but Sturges made her spit it out at rapid-fire pace and protected her limitations. Preston Sturges was a writer-director the like of which we haven't seen since. As "Sully" treads the road dressed in a hobo outfit from the studio costume department, a fully-equipped "land yacht," … Sullivan dresses as a hobo and takes to the road, followed by his staff in a bus. In his confused state, Sullivan hits the man with a rock, for which he is sentenced to six years in a labor camp. 2:24. His experiment is publicized by the studio as a huge success. Director Preston Sturges’ bummer of a farce starts off with Joel McCrea as an eccentric and bored Hollywood director faking a sojourn across the land as a hobo. Sullivan's Travels is a 1941 American comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges, and starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake. Sullivan`s Travels Synopsis: Sullivan is a successful, spoiled, and naive director of fluff films, with a heart-o-gold, who decides he wants to make a film about the troubles of the downtrodden poor. Over time, the reputation of the film has improved tremendously, and it is now considered a classic; at least one reviewer called it Sturges's "masterpiece" and "one of the finest movies about movies ever made. powered by AFI. Looking for movie tickets? Earn 125 points on every ticket you buy. [8], There were some minor problems during filming. The New Yorker's review said that "anyone can make a mistake, Preston Sturges, even. The sequence in Sullivan's Travels is a step in that direction and I want you to know how grateful we are.[4]. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Sullivan's Travels SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS is a movie written and directed by Preston Sturges in 1942. The scene in which the prisoners are taken to watch the 1934 Disney cartoon Playful Pluto takes place in a Southern black church; the film treats the African-American characters there with a level of respect unusual in films of the period. [4], Sullivan's Travels went into production on May 12, 1941 and wrapped on July 22. [6] Sturges consulted with Lake's doctor to see if she could perform the part, and hired former Tournament of Roses queen Cheryl Walker as Lake's double. This time Sullivan succeeds. Sullivan’s Travels, American dramedy film, released in 1941, considered by many to be director Preston Sturges’s finest film. SEE DETAILS. Unable to convince anybody that he is Sullivan or communicate with the outside world, he comes up with a solution: after seeing his unsolved "killing" on the front page of a newspaper, he confesses to being his own killer. “Sullivan’s Travels” is a classic screwball comedy tinged with a malicious chaotic energy. SEE DETAILS, when you purchase 3 participating Twizzlers. 5-2010, p. 81, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition), List of films with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, "Blu-ray Review: Preston Sturges's Sullivan's Travels on the Criterion Collection", "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress", "Library of Congress Adds 25 Titles to National Film Registry", "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)", List of actors who frequently worked with Preston Sturges, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sullivan%27s_Travels&oldid=995985675, United States National Film Registry films, Films with screenplays by Preston Sturges, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 December 2020, at 22:44. Neither party is happy with the arrangement, and Sullivan, after trying to lose the bus in a fast-paced car chase, eventually persuades his guardians to leave him alone and arranges to rendezvous with them later in Las Vegas. [15][16] In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked it as the No. Watch Exclusive 'PG: Psycho Goreman' Clip: The Encounter, What to Watch on FandangoNOW: ‘Let Him Go,’ ‘The Kid Detective,’ ‘The Climb,’ ’Some Kind of Heaven’ and More, This Week in Movie News: Chris Evans Returning as Captain America, Ben Affleck Directing ‘Keeper of the Lost Cities’ and More. Although the review in The New York Times called the film "the most brilliant picture yet this year" and praised Sturges' mix of escapist fun with underlying significance, The Hollywood Reporter said that it lacked the "down to earth quality and sincerity which made [Sturges's] other three pictures a joy to behold" and that "Sturges...fails to heed the message that writer Sturges proves in his script. He and the girl return to his mansion. Joel McCrea, a director of musicals and comedy, wants to present a serious movie about poverty and the social crisis in America. Laughter is the thing people want—not social studies." Sullivan's Travels has the reputation as Sturges' best film, which is a shame, because it is the formal changes of tone that impresses more than much of the content. Paramount purchased Sturges's script for Sullivan's Travels for $6,000. Sullivan's Valet: Yes; always reading books, sir. Kelly Loeffler to CHALLENGE Electoral College results. Did you know that's all some people have? "[3] It has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 8.66/10. He wrote the film as a response to the "preaching" he found in other comedies "which seemed to have abandoned the fun in favor of the message. But I am particularly grateful to you, as are a number of my friends, both white and colored, for the dignified and decent treatment of Negroes in this scene. He decides to shoot a movie about an oppressed poor man. Sullivan's Travels received disparate critical reception: The New York Times described it as "the most brilliant picture yet this year", praising Sturges's mix of escapist fun with underlying significance, and ranked it as one of the ten best films of 1941. A railway worker finds him and berates him for illegally entering the rail yard, shoving him. However, he soon returns to Los Angeles. In the camp, he attends a showing of Walt Disney's 1934 Playful Pluto cartoon and is surprised to find himself laughing along with the other inmates. The plot involves John Lloyd Sullivan (played by Joel McCrea), a pampered [14], In 1990, Sullivan's Travels was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The Sullivan’s Travels Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you. It’s a performance for the ages."[13]. The title is a reference to Gulliver's Travels, the 1726 novel by satirist Jonathan Swiftabout another journey of self-dis… Sullivan's Travels was an instant hit when it opened, despite (or maybe because of) the infamous Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor dominating headlines.Even though grounded in 1930s Depression-era anxieties, hobo camps and issues, the film still charms today -- maybe even more so, considering how much range of emotion writer-director Preston Sturges evokes, from hilarity to horror, … "[4] Sturges may have been influenced by the stories of John Garfield,[5] who lived the life of a hobo, riding freight trains and hitchhiking his way cross country for a short period in the 1930s. Meanwhile, Sullivan wakes up in another city, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, he hits the road as a hobo. movie theaters are playing Sullivan's Travels near you. The title is taken from Jonathan Swift’s classic tale of self-discovery, Gulliver’s Travels (1726). The girl wants to stay with him, but Sullivan reveals to her that he is married to someone else, having entered the union solely to reduce his income taxes; however, the plan backfired, as Sullivan found his joint tax fees were higher, and his wife is now having an affair with his business manager. A satire on the film industry, it follows a famous Hollywood comedy director who, longing to make a socially relevant drama, sets out to live as a vagrant drifter to gain life experience for his forthcoming film, and unites with a poor aspiring actress along the way. Like Wellman’s film, Sullivan’s Travels has a girl (Veronica Lake) dressed as a boy tramp. When his picture makes the front page, the girl recognizes him, and he is released. After riding in a cattle car, eating in soup kitchens and sleeping in homeless shelters with the girl (where someone steals his shoes), Sullivan finally decides he has had enough. This conformed with the office's standing policy of not exporting films that could be used for propaganda purposes by the enemy. Sullivan's Travels was released on video in the U.S. on March 16, 1989, and re-released on June 30, 1993. [4], Trains Magazine Special Edition No. Sullivan's Valet: Yes, always reading books, sir. The producers of the film declined to make suggested changes that could have altered the film's status.[4]. Successful movie director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea), convinced he won't be able to film his ambitious masterpiece until he has suffered, dons a hobo disguise and sets off on a journey, aiming to "know trouble" first-hand. Synopsis. Sullivan is knocked unconscious and put in a boxcar leaving the city. Plot – Sullivan is a funny successful movie director. 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