Sullivan's Travels: A deliciously dark comedy and far from ordinary

It was highly controversial for its time, and brought a special sense of humour to mainstream American filmmaking.

Bucket List Reviews December 12, 2016
The golden age of Hollywood has produced numerous memorable films, ones that even decades later, still influence filmmakers from around the world. But Sullivan’s Travels (1941) is not any ordinary film. This delicious dark comedy by Preston Sturges was highly controversial for its time that brought a special sense of humour to mainstream American filmmaking. This is the first of my ‘Bucket List Pick’; A film that you have to watch before you kick the bucket.

The film stars Joel McCrea as a famous Hollywood director Sullivan who feels like he hasn’t created anything of value for the common masses. The only films that he has made have been comedies and this time, he vows to the studio execs that he’s going to make a film about real life misery‚ O Brother Where Art thou? Unfortunately, his idea gets shot down by the studio executives who believe that since he has always been brought up in wealth, there’s no way he can ever recreate the experience of what it’s like to come from a penniless background.

Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea in Sullivan's Travels (1941).Photo: IMDb

And this is where Sullivan has the idea to spend a few months living life as a Hobo. Along the way, Sullivan meets a down-on-her-luck actress who tags along on his journey of self-discovery and ultimately, moral salvation.

Veronica Lake, Joel McCrea, and Bill Wolfe in Sullivan's Travels (1941).Photo: IMDb

The film stars magnificent performances from Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake. In 2007, Sullivan’s Travels was added by the American Film Institute as the ‘100 Years 100 Movies’ of all time.

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