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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only one prettier person than Veronica here - that's Joel
This film is the most complete and accessible of all Sturges's films. Others have funnier moments although the mad chase near the start should have your stitches bursting; others are more frenetic, manic, bonkers etc. This is the only one'll make you weep a little so really it's anomalous if you want pure satire. There's a modernity of sensibility about Sturges which...
Published on 26 April 2010 by Mario

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29 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh."
Preston Sturges' "Sullivan's Travels" is a film about a great deal many things. Yet, despite its pointed commentary on the social and economic ills inherent in American society, its core message is an important one - people should never underestimate the important role laughter plays in their everyday lives.
Film director John Sullivan (Joel McCrea) tells...
Published on 7 Nov 2005 by Steven Y.


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2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not amazing, 31 Jan 2009
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This review is from: Sullivan's Travels [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
This film is regarded as a `classic', though personally I can't really see that it merits such distinction. It's entertaining, certainly, and there are laugh out loud moments along the way. But the screwball style comedy and the pacy dialogue all see a little unsubtle, like everybody is trying a bit too hard.
This period in Hollywood history gave us a wonderful array of feel-good comedies, but if you want to watch one of those try Harvey or Mr Deeds Goes To Town (or indeed anything by Frank Capra). They all have a lightness of touch and charm that is missing here. And I personally find it a little crass to be so self-aggrandising - Preston Sturges' message is that making comedies when the world is in dire straits is just about the most noble, worthwhile thing you can do, and that Hollywood performs a vital service. Surely this message would have more weight if it didn't come direct from a Hollywood comedy director.
On the plus side, you never quite know where the plot will take you, and it certainly pulls the rug out from under you at times. The performances are good, and Veronica Lake has the captivating screen presence you would expect from a 1940s leading lady. Furthermore, film buffs and fans of the Coen Brothers will be delighted to discover where they got their inspiration for the film O Brother Where Art Thou?
If you want an hour and a half's amusing diversion then this film will do admirably, but as a serious commentary on society I fear it is far too dated to have any real impact.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Screwball Comedy About Propaganda?, 14 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Sullivan's Travels [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
What role do comedy films have during a war? Shouldn't all efforts be made into making propaganda to help the war effort at home and at the front? This is the interesting proposition that underpins the 1941 screwball comedy by Preston Sturges, a director known for his light touch. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is a film director who is fed up with creating comedies during the Great Depression and instead wants to reflect the misery that the average person is suffering. To do this he tries to go undercover as a homeless man and mingle. He meets the aspiring actress (Veronica Lake) in his travels and the duo set out to uncover what the real world, away from the Hollywood Hills, is actually like.

As a knockabout comedy `Sullivan's Travels' is reasonable, but not up with the best in the genre. McCrea as Sullivan is a little bland, and although Lake is nice to look at, she lacks the personality to really sell humour. The film resonated with me towards the end when I realised that Sturges was trying to justify the use of comedy during bleak times in history. The character of Sullivan learns that people want to laugh and enjoy themselves, rather than be reminded of the dangers in their own life. With this film Sturges created a good argument for lighter films being made during the Second World War. They may not be propaganda, but they do their bit to keep morale up. A flawed comedy, but still an interesting film from the era.
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0 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Feeble, 9 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Sullivan's Travels [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
Joel McCrea (Sullivan) is a rich kid director who wants to make a film about human suffering but needs it to be pointed out that he has never actually suffered. He sets off to live as a tramp and experience the emotions in order to help him write his film. Along the way, he meets Veronica Lake who doesn't have a name and is an out of work actress whose dreams have been shattered by the lure of Hollywood. She joins him on his trampy road trip and then they re-group in the world of luxuries before McCrea goes missing one evening....and his death is reported in the press. We know he's not dead but how will he become re-united with Lake Veronica?

It's meant to be a comedy and if you like the following sort of humour, then it is right up your street. A high speed car chase results in the passengers inside a coach being thrown about - one person gets his head stuck between some shutters - ha ha ha - then someone keeps slipping around - ha ha ha - then someone else slips around and falls over - ha ha ha - and it keeps going on for ages like this. Another sequence sees a group of prisoners watching a film in a church and they are all in hysterics coz the film is so funny. Once again, this sequence goes on forever and a day and the cause of the hilarity........ Pluto's antics in a Mickey Mouse feature. Yes folks, Pluto gets his paws stuck on some fly paper on the floor and he can't seem to walk properly. It's just absolutely hilarious. If you are a retard.

As for the story, after an hour of blandness, the film swings to the unpleasant when a tramp is killed by a train. How unnecessary was that! Speaking of unnecessary, McCrea puts on a comedy voice to indicate that he has a cold for a section of the film because it's such a funny thing to do. And pointless. It adds nothing to the story and certainly isn't funny. The film is full of pointless touches like this. The plot also has a glaring error when McCrea is identified as being dead by the credit card in the boots that he was wearing. HOLD ON.....Lake Veronica knows that he had his boots stolen. McCrea would not be identified as the dead body so what on earth is the idiot writer thinking about and why is he continuing with this ridiculous storyline?

It's a crap film but you will like it if you don't have a normal brain. Preston Sturges sucks and the cast are all annoying. Don't waste your time with this garbage.
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Sullivan's Travels [DVD] [1941]
Sullivan's Travels [DVD] [1941] by Preston Sturges (DVD - 2005)
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