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8.2
/10
2,382 Ratings

Sullivan’s Travels

Directed by Preston Sturges
United States, 1941
Comedy, Drama, Adventure

Synopsis

Hollywood director Joel McCrea, tired of churning out lightweight comedies, decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thou, a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, he hits the road as a hobo.

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Sullivan’s Travels Directed by Preston Sturges
Sullivan’s Travels is far less classical in its construction [than The Lady Eve], more direct in its central message, and no less mischievous because of it—a treasure of satire and an entertaining case study in incipient postmodernism at Hollywood’s door.
August 28, 2018
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Sullivan’s epiphany comes with the laughter he and the other prison inmates share at a screening of a Disney cartoon (Playful Pluto, 1934). The rescued Sullivan’s final speech about the necessity of comedy is delivered almost directly to us. That it follows the bleakest scenes Sturges had ever filmed is completely appropriate for an artist who never met a paradox he didn’t love.
May 07, 2015
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If Sullivan’s Travels mounts an argument for anything, it’s complexity and ambition in filmmaking, as practiced by an artist who is, unlike Sullivan, rather smarter than he lets on. Sturges might have conceived the film as a journey that would lead you to the belief that he was a simple workman, unconcerned with developing his art—but I say you can’t get there from here.
April 14, 2015
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