Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama


Sullivan's Travels (1941) Poster

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.


8/10
22,342

Photos

  • Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea in Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  • Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea in Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  • Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea in Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  • Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea in Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  • Joel McCrea in Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  • Jimmy Conlin and Joel McCrea in Sullivan's Travels (1941)

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Awards

2 wins.

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


8 February 2001 | tork0030
A celebration of the healing power of comedy
As a professional circus clown for twenty years,I think that Sullivan's Travels is the best, most lucid, explanation of what comedy is all about that has ever been made. Sure it's hokey, corny, contrived, and meandering. But so is all great comedy, from Shakespeare to Seinfeld! If you want your comedy to be tightly constructed, meaningful, unambiguous, and logical, then you do not want comedy at all -- you want some stuffy college professor's idea of What is Comedy for a term paper.

The glorious truth is that you cannot domesticate great comedy. It occurs on no regular basis, from no reliable source, and is accountable to no one for what it says and does. Preston Sturges wanted to make that point in Sullivans Travels and he does so exceedingly well with everything from slapstick frolics in the land cruiser to fleas in the bed to hectoring soliloquies about poverty from the butler.

Ten years before Chaplin tried to explain the same thing in his movie Limelight, Sturges tells a tale meant to both hearten and cozen us. It heartens us to know that a cynical, moneygrubbing place like Hollywood will continue to spin out comedies, because they make money. And it cozens us into thinking there is something magical about comedians. Anyone who has ever actually known or been married to a professional funnyperson knows they are by turns grumpy, lazy, tempermental, stubborn, and always insecure. Not the life of the party. But so what? They're clowns, god bless 'em, and that's all that counts.

You'll never understand the craft of humor if you don't watch, and love, Preston Sturges Sullivan's Travels!

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