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New on Video: ‘Sullivan’s Travels’

Sullivan’s Travels

Written and directed by Preston Sturges

USA, 1941

At the start of Sullivan’s Travels, movie director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) has been screening his latest effort. The picture within the picture concludes with an intense rooftop fight aboard a train. It’s almost absurd in its inflated action and Sullivan is not at all pleased with his creation. This type of escapist entertainment may be all right for some, but it’s social commentary he now seeks. These are troubling times, he argues, with war in Europe and strikes on the home front, and the ambitious, idealistic filmmaker wants something beyond mere cinematic frivolity. Apparently, so did the director of Sullivan’s Travels, the great Preston Sturges. At least that’s what he ended up with anyway.

Sullivan’s Travels, “By” Preston Sturges, as the opening credit proclaims, lending the filmic fable something of a storybook

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