Sullivan's Valet: Yes; always reading books, sir. 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. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, he hits the road as a hobo. 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. I want to explain who "Gulliver's Travels" is for, and who it might not be for. 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. 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. In fact, the making and the release of Sullivan’s Travels spans two eras. Trending. [4] Edith Head, Hollywood's most renowned costume designer, was tasked to find ways of concealing Lake's condition. He neglects to tell his servants that he has returned, however, so they report the car stolen. [4], Trains Magazine Special Edition No. 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. 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. The title is taken from Jonathan Swift’s classic tale of self-discovery, Gulliver’s Travels (1726). 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. 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. Sturges' assistant director, Anthony Mann, also was influenced heavily by his experience on the production. He gradually regains his memory. [4], Sullivan's Travels went into production on May 12, 1941 and wrapped on July 22. [3] In 1990, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.". [4], Sturges wrote the film with Joel McCrea in mind, but found the female lead—Veronica Lake—through the casting process. Hollywood film director John L. Sullivan dreams of making a film called Brother, Where Art Thou , dealing with the misery of the poverty-stricken, and convinces the studio executives to allow him to do research by traveling cross-country disguised as a hobo. [15][16] In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked it as the No. Incidents such as this may account for the film, which cost more than $689,000 to produce, going more than $86,000 over budget. 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. 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. [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. Sullivan and the girl are briefly apprehended by police, but let free. 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 is a hilarious 1941 comedy written and directed by Preston Sturges. 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. Kelly Loeffler to CHALLENGE Electoral College results. He was a … Sullivan's Valet: Yes, always reading books, sir. The sequence in Sullivan's Travels is a step in that direction and I want you to know how grateful we are.[4]. Production began as the Great Depression was starting to wind down of its own accord. “Sullivan’s Travels” is a classic screwball comedy tinged with a malicious chaotic energy. A 2010 special issue of Trains magazine ranked Sullivan's Travels 25th among the 100 greatest train movies.[17]. They felt that the word "bum" would be rejected by British censors, and warned that there should be no "suggestion of sexual intimacy" between Sullivan and The Girl in the scenes in which they are sleeping together at the mission. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Sullivan's Travels SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS is a movie written and directed by Preston Sturges in 1942. In return for her kindness, Sullivan retrieves his car from his estate and gives her a ride. 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. This time Sullivan succeeds. [11], When the film was released, the U.S. Office of Censorship declined to approve it for export overseas during wartime, because of the "long sequence showing life in a prison chain gang which is most objectionable because of the brutality and inhumanity with which the prisoners are treated." [4], The film was given a pre-screening for critics on December 4, 1941,[9] before premiering in Jackson, Tennessee on December 29, 1941. 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, … Sullivan's Travels (270) IMDb 7.9 1h 30min 1941 X-Ray 13+ In this comedic masterpiece, a wealthy director (Joel McCrea) wants to find "real" people for his next great film (co-starring Veronica Lake). 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. The New Yorker's review said that "anyone can make a mistake, Preston Sturges, even. Get your swag on with discounted movies to stream at home, exclusive movie gear, access to advanced screenings and discounts galore. We know life happens, so if something comes up, you can return or exchange your tickets up until the posted showtime. Fandango helps you go back to the movies with confidence and peace of mind. LeBrand wants him to direct another lucrative comedy instead, but Sullivan refuses. A Hollywood director, John L Sullivan, sets out to experience life as a poor, homeless person in order to gain relevant life experience for his next movie. Fredric March, who took the latter part, didn't much enjoy working with Lake, either. "[3] It has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 8.66/10. Earn 125 points on every ticket you buy. [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. when you buy 1 participating Hershey’s party bag. [22], On November 9, 1942, Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a radio adaptation of Sullivan's Travels with Ralph Bellamy in the lead role and Veronica Lake reprising her role. Sturges had wanted to use a clip from a Charlie Chaplin film for the church scene, but was turned down by Chaplin. [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." As "Sully" treads the road dressed in a hobo outfit from the studio costume department, a fully-equipped "land yacht," … It's a timelessly sharp scene with snappy dialogue exchanges that wouldn't seem out … He wants to "know trouble" first hand, and plans to travel as a tramp so he can make a film that truly depicts the sorrows of humanity. Paramount purchased Sturges's script for Sullivan's Travels for $6,000. "[4] Nevertheless, the Times named it as one of the ten best films of 1941, and the National Board of Review nominated it as best picture of the year. His experiment is publicized by the studio as a huge success. When his picture makes the front page, the girl recognizes him, and he is released. [7] However, McCrea got along famously with Sturges, and afterward presented him with a watch engraved "for the finest direction I've ever had." Laughter is the thing people want—not social studies." Watch Sullivan's Travels movie trailer and get the latest cast info, photos, movie review and more on TVGuide.com. 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. Like Wellman’s film, Sullivan’s Travels has a girl (Veronica Lake) dressed as a boy tramp. In order to understand what it means to be poor, Sullivan decides to live like a homeless person for a while. Sullivan is knocked unconscious and put in a boxcar leaving the city. [4] Also, the poverty montage was scheduled to take three hours to film, but instead took seven hours. 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. [4], Lake was six months pregnant at the beginning of production, a fact she did not disclose to Sturges until filming began. The title of the film is a reference to the Preston Sturges 1941 film Sullivan's Travels, in which the protagonist is a director who wants to film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a fictitious book about the Great Depression. The film was re-released in the UK with a restored print on May 12, 2000. 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. The film as released opens with a dedication: To the memory of those who made us laugh: the motley mountebanks, the clowns, the buffoons, in all times and in all nations, whose efforts have lightened our burden a little, this picture is affectionately dedicated. Dissatisfied with his films, he tells his studio boss, Mr. LeBrand, that he wants his next project to be a serious exploration of the plight of the downtrodden, based on the novel O Brother, Where Art Thou? When the mangled body is found, it turns out that this was the thief who stole (and is wearing) Sullivan’s shoes; a special identification card his valet had sewn into them identifies him as Sullivan. Derek Malcolm. John L. Sullivan: There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Sullivan's Travels was released on video in the U.S. on March 16, 1989, and re-released on June 30, 1993. Media historian Hal Erickson classified it as a "classic", "one of the finest movies about movies ever made" and a "masterpiece". The plot involves John Lloyd Sullivan (played by Joel McCrea), a pampered It’s a performance for the ages."[13]. [4], The censors at the Hays Office had objections to the script that the studio had submitted. 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. However, when he insists on going out again, she goes with him, over his objections, disguised as a boy. Did you know that's all some people have? I was in Hollywood recently and am to return there soon for conferences with production heads, writers, directors, and actors and actresses in an effort to induce broader and more decent picturization of the Negro instead of limiting him to menial or comic roles. 19 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere. The film's primary theme is best summed up in the last line of dialogue as spoken by Sullivan: "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Sullivan's Travels is a 1941 American comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges, and starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake. Lake does parody Chaplin's "Little Tramp" character earlier in the film. Enter your location to see which Sullivan's Travels opens with a cracking meeting between two studio bosses and director Sullivan. Looking for movie tickets? Reportedly, Lake was disliked by a few of her co-stars. Thu 9 Nov 2000 08.00 EST. Sign up for a FANALERT® to find out when tickets are available in your area. The Secretary of the NAACP, Walter White, wrote to Sturges: I want to congratulate and thank you for the church sequence in Sullivan's Travels. This conformed with the office's standing policy of not exporting films that could be used for propaganda purposes by the enemy. Kelly Loeffler. John L. Sullivan is a popular young Hollywood director of profitable but shallow comedies. Location shooting took place in Canoga Park, San Marino, Castaic and at Lockheed Air Terminal. 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. Read Full Synopsis Ade Binelli. But Sullivan's studio transforms his odyssey into a publicity stunt, providing the would-be nomad with a luxury van, complete with butler (Robert Greig) and valet . 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. movie theaters are playing Sullivan's Travels near you. 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". FULL SYNOPSIS. "[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. Screen Reader Users: To optimize your experience with your screen reading software, please use our Flixster.com website, which has the same tickets as our Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com websites. 3:19. Sullivan's Travels Synopsis. Preston Sturges: Sullivan's Travels. TOMORROW. One person it is definitely for is Gloria DeMent, the 84-year-old grandmother who wrote AP film critic Christy Lemire in horror after spending $96 to take four generations of her family to see "The Nutcracker in 3-D." SEE DETAILS, when you spend $25 on participating products. Successful movie director John L. Sullivan, 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. McCrea refused to work with her again, and subsequently turned down a lead role with her in I Married a Witch. 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. When all he finds is a train ride back to Hollywood and a beautiful blonde companion (Veronica Lake), he redoubles his efforts, managing to land himself in … 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. 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. 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. 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