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Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Adventure | 90 minutes
3,62 180 votes

Genre: Adventure / Comedy

Duration: 90 minuten

Alternative title: De Lotgevallen van Sullivan

Country: United States

Directed by: Preston Sturges

Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake and Robert Warwick

IMDb score: 7,9 (28.635)

Releasedate: 30 November 1941

Sullivan's Travels plot

"A Happy-Go Lucky Hitch-Hiker on the Highway to happiness! He wanted to see the world . . . but wound up in Lover's Lane!"

Director John L. Sullivan wants to make a film about poverty (titled 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'), but his producers point out that he knows nothing about it. Therefore, he dresses in old clothes, and goes out into the world without money, so that he may experience the aspects of poverty for himself.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

John Sullivan

Mr. Jones

Mr. Hadrian

Johnny Valdelle

Sullivan's Valet

Reviews & comments


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avatar van Mambanda


  • 31 messages
  • 256 votes

Great comedy, a pity that this film is not very well known, because current films can still learn a lot from this. Very thoughtful on the one hand, but also very clever on the other hand, Sullivan's Travels has it all. It was striking that the pace of the film, unlike many films from that time, is incredibly fast. McCrea stars from heaven in this versatile comedy.


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avatar van Kiekerjan


  • 119 messages
  • 106 votes

"There's always a girl in the picture." American comedy that occasionally leans towards metacinema, but eventually falls into fairly simple satire. A Hollywood director suddenly wants to make a more realistic and socially relevant film, instead of the usual escapism. He opts for a 'method' approach and disguises himself as a hobo in order to get a closer look at the conditions of the marginalized. What follows is definitely not 'Grapes of Wrath', on the contrary. Lots of slapstick and other silly jokes. Sullivan's adventures are continuously provided with a comic undertone. It comes across as a rather muddled road movie with an unclear message. Veronica Lake is a beautiful appearance and works well with McCrea, but fails to give extra depth to the superficial story. Fortunately, the level shoots up in the last half hour and you see a more serious and sincere attempt to address the theme for the first time. Whether the morality of "escapism over realism" holds any truth today will vary from person to person.

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avatar van Dievegge


  • 3023 messages
  • 7770 votes

Joel McCrea plays a director who is unsure whether to make popular comedies or social drama with a message. In this he resembles Preston Sturges himself, who manages to unite these two. In terms of comedy, there's frenetic screwball dialogue, physical comedy with chases and fights, a bit of slapstick and jokes with the sound. When he coughs, you hear the snorting of a horse. In terms of social drama, there is the lifestyle of the vagrants, but especially the unequal treatment of rich and poor in court. Sullivan doesn't really get into trouble until act two; before that you know he can go back to his privileged life at any moment. Twists in the intrigue come through a mistaken identity and a recognition.

Veronica Lake appears as a manic pixie dream girl. While he is sitting there in shabby clothes, a stunningly beautiful woman appears who does not want to leave his side. However, she soon turns out to be savvy. Her transformation from glamorous beauty to rascal has succeeded. Frail and beazel are slang terms for woman. Edith Head designed clothes to cover up Lake's pregnancy. There are also nice supporting roles: Eric Blore as the servant, and Almira Sessions as the lusty widow.

It is stylishly portrayed, using shadows and mirrors. A nice image is when he has just put on his tramp suit with his luxurious interior in the background. When the train is moving, you'll see it's a stationary car in front of a screen with a backward-moving background, but that doesn't make it any less fun. The whole idea is summed up in the image of the smiling spectator with rotten teeth: an innocent comedy can help people forget their daily suffering for a while.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original