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Sullivan's Travels
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Sullivan's Travels (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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Sullivan's Travels -- In this comedic masterpiece, a wealthy director (Joel McCrea) wants to find "real" people for his next great film (co-starring Veronica Lake).


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8.1/10   17,023 votes »
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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Preston Sturges (written by)
View company contact information for Sullivan's Travels on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
December 1941 (USA) See more »
A Happy-Go Lucky Hitch-Hiker on the Highway to happiness! He wanted to see the world . . . but wound up in Lover's Lane! See more »
A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about Life...which gives him a rude awakening. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins See more »
(46 articles)
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User Reviews:
Laughter, A Precious Commodity In This Cockeyed Caravan See more (128 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joel McCrea ... John L. Sullivan

Veronica Lake ... The Girl
Robert Warwick ... Mr. LeBrand

William Demarest ... Mr. Jones

Franklin Pangborn ... Mr. Casalsis
Porter Hall ... Mr. Hadrian
Byron Foulger ... Mr. Valdelle
Margaret Hayes ... Secretary
Robert Greig ... Sullivan's Butler
Eric Blore ... Sullivan's Valet
Torben Meyer ... The Doctor
Victor Potel ... Cameraman
Richard Webb ... Radio Man
Charles R. Moore ... Colored Chef (as Charles Moore)
Almira Sessions ... Ursula
Esther Howard ... Miz Zeffie
Frank Moran ... Tough Chauffeur
Georges Renavent ... Old Tramp
Harry Rosenthal ... The Trombenick
Al Bridge ... The Mister (as Alan Bridge)
Jimmy Conlin ... Trusty
Jan Buckingham ... Mrs. Sullivan

Robert Winkler ... Bud
Chick Collins ... Capital
Jimmie Dundee ... Labor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Anderson ... Sullivan's Ex-Manager (uncredited)
Myrtle Anderson ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Elizabeth Ashley ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Roscoe Ates ... Hollywood Diner Counterman (uncredited)
Ruth Bias ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Tramp in Soup Kitchen (uncredited)
Billy Bletcher ... Entertainer in Hospital (uncredited)
Monte Blue ... Policeman in Slums (uncredited)
Grace Boone ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... Hobo Hopping Train (uncredited)
Arie Lee Branche ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
William Broadus ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Jess Lee Brooks ... Church Preacher Showing Movie (uncredited)
Anita Brown ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Ruth Byers ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Matilda Caldwell ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Mark Carnahan ... Churchgoer (uncredited)

Chester Conklin ... Old Bum (uncredited)
Laurence Criner ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Frances Curry ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Gladys Davis ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
James Davis ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Edgar Dearing ... Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)
Joan Douglas ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
A. Downs ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Robert Dudley ... One-Legged Hobo (uncredited)
LeRoy Edwards ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Fay Fifer ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Elizabeth Gray ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Kit Guard ... Convict (uncredited)
Jester Hairston ... Charlie - Church Projectionist (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Reporter (uncredited)
Inez Hatchett ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Edward Hearn ... Policeman at Beverly Hills Station (uncredited)
Arthur Hoyt ... Preacher at Revival Mission (uncredited)
Sheldon Jett ... Man in Bathhouse / Studio Executive (uncredited)
Payne B. Johnson ... Boy (uncredited)
Bob Kortman ... Convict Watching Movie in Church (uncredited)
Pearl Lancaster ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Cora Lang ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Perc Launders ... Rail Yard Bull (uncredited)
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Desk Sergeant (uncredited)
Pat McKee ... Tramp at Revival Meeting (uncredited)
Esther Michelson ... Woman on 'Poor Street' (uncredited)

Ray Milland ... Near-collision man on studio street (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Drunk Eating in Theater (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Railroad Clerk (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Reporter (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
Artie Overstreet ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Emory Parnell ... Rail Yard Bull (uncredited)
War Perkins ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Lon Poff ... Convict Watching Movie in Church (uncredited)
Gus Reed ... Mission Cook (uncredited)
Mary Reed ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Cyril Ring ... Reporter (uncredited)
Willard Robertson ... Judge (uncredited)
Dewey Robinson ... Charlie - Sheriff (uncredited)
Sheila Sheldon ... Child on 'Poor Street' (uncredited)
Irving Smith ... Churchgoer (uncredited)

Preston Sturges ... Studio Director (uncredited)
Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Church Harmonium Player (uncredited)
Julius Tannen ... Public Defender (uncredited)
Lillian Taylor ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Henry 'Hot Shot' Thomas ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Maggie Thomas ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Harry Tyler ... Railroad Information Clerk (uncredited)
Notable Vines ... Churchgoer (uncredited)

Cheryl Walker ... Veronica Lake's Double (uncredited)
Pat West ... Las Vegas Diner Counterman (uncredited)
Jack Winslow ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Bill Wolfe ... Toothless Man at Revival Meeting (uncredited)

Directed by
Preston Sturges 
Writing credits
Preston Sturges (written by)

Produced by
Paul Jones .... associate producer
Buddy G. DeSylva .... executive producer (uncredited)
Preston Sturges .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Charles Bradshaw (musical score)
Leo Shuken (music score)
Cinematography by
John F. Seitz  (as John Seitz)
Film Editing by
Stuart Gilmore (edited by)
Casting by
Robert Mayo (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
A. Earl Hedrick  (as Earl Hedrick)
Costume Design by
Edith Head (costumes)
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup artist
Hal Lierley .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Merle Reeves .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Leonora Sabine .... hair stylist supervisor (uncredited)
Production Management
Joseph C. Youngerman .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Barton Adams .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Anthony Mann .... assistant director (uncredited)
Hollingsworth Morse .... first assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Robert Goodstein .... second props (uncredited)
Oscar Law .... first props (uncredited)
Ray Moyer .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Harry D. Mills .... sound recordist (as Harry Mills)
Walter Oberst .... sound recordist
Wallace Nogle .... stage engineer (uncredited)
Grant Rymal .... sound recordist (uncredited)
George Ziegler .... boom operator (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... process photography
Wesley Hopper .... stunt double: Joel McCrea (uncredited)
Allen Pomeroy .... stunt double (uncredited)
John Sinclair .... stunt double (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Francis Burgess .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Earl Crowell .... gaffer (uncredited)
Walter McCloud .... company grip (uncredited)
Talmadge Morrison .... still photographer (uncredited)
Otto Pierce .... second camera operator (uncredited)
James Tait .... electrician (uncredited)
George Ziegler .... mike grip (uncredited)
Animation Department
Norman Ferguson .... animator: "Playful Pluto" (uncredited)
Dick Lundy .... animator: "Playful Pluto" (uncredited)
Casting Department
Bill Greenwald .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Bert McKay .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Alice Thomas .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Clayton Brackett .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Hazel Hegarty .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Chandler House .... assistant cutter (uncredited)
Music Department
Sigmund Krumgold .... musical director
Gerard Carbonara .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
John Leipold .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Joseph J. Lilley .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Albert Hay Malotte .... composer: cartoon music (uncredited)
Ernst Toch .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Victor Young .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Teet Carle .... publicist (uncredited)
Nesta Charles .... script clerk (uncredited)
Walt Disney .... producer: "Playful Pluto" (uncredited)
Burt Gillett .... director: "Playful Pluto" (uncredited)
Edwin Gillette .... secretary: Mr. Sturges (uncredited)
Norman Lacey .... location manager (uncredited)
Ernst Laemmle .... assistant writer (uncredited)
Marie Morris .... secretary (uncredited)
Isabelle Sullivan .... script assistant (uncredited)
Cheryl Walker .... double: Veronica Lake (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min | West Germany:85 min (TV premiere)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | South Korea:12 (2004) | Sweden:15 | Sweden:11 (re-release) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2000) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #7382) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Director Cameo: [Preston Sturges]Studio director, on the set of 'The Girl's period movie. He is seen in the background when she reads the newspaper and throws up her hands in delight.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When the supposedly unconscious Sullivan is being pulled by a bum who hit him into an empty boxcar, you can see the actor (Joel McRae) push himself along with his foot, apparently because the other man is not strong enough to drag him.See more »
Policeman at Beverly Hills station:How does the girl fit into the picture?
John L. Sullivan:There's always a girl in the picture. What's the matter, don't you go to the movies?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)See more »
Let My People GoSee more »


Where could I get this script? It looks facinating.
See more »
32 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
Laughter, A Precious Commodity In This Cockeyed Caravan, 11 May 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Sullivan's Travels is a twofer for me, it's my favorite Preston Sturges film and my favorite Joel McCrea one. It's an anti-message film, loaded with humor, with a most sublime message indeed.

Joel McCrea plays director John Sullivan who's tired of making silly comedies and musicals for his studio. He wants to make films of social significance with a message about the troubles in today's world.

Problem is that he doesn't know anything about poverty and unemployment, he's a rich kid who's been to boarding school. So off he sets, several times it turns out, to discover how the other half lives.

That last time he sets out is a bit unplanned and through a combination of circumstances he winds up on a prison chain gang in some southern state. He learns some really profound lessons from that experience.

But that's the serious side of Sullivan's Travels. Before that the film has some really gut splitting funny moments like McCrea learning about the speed of a whippet tank, being accused of stealing his own car. But my favorite is when he falls in the clutches of spinsters Elmira Sessions and Esther Howard. McCrea sets out to learn about poverty and deprivation and the two sisters see him as the answer to some poverty and deprivation they've been suffering for some time. Maybe the chain gang didn't look so bad.

Veronica Lake in her memoirs said that one of the films she enjoyed most was Sullivan's Travels where she plays an disillusioned Hollywood hopeful who befriends the tramp McCrea without knowing who he really is. The following year Lake would be paired with Alan Ladd who was closer to her height. She said McCrea was a kind and decent man and wonderful to work with. The disparity of their height was the source of some amusement and some problems for Preston Sturges. Lake was a tiny thing, it was why she was teamed with Alan Ladd, and McCrea was well over six feet tall. Check the shots of them together, very rarely will you see them standing side by side.

Sturges used a lot of his regular company of players. My two favorites in the supporting cast are Robert Grieg and Edward Blore who are McCrea's butler and valet. Both turn out to be wise men in their warnings to their boss about this folly he is undertaking.

It's been said that Sullivan's Travels is supposed to be the anti-Frank Capra film about messages. I'm not sure Capra saw it that way. If you look at the portion of the film when Sullivan falls into this unfamiliar universe of the chain gang, it's very similar to what George Bailey was experiencing in that parallel universe he was sent to in It's A Wonderful Life. I think Sturges and Capra would find a lot of common ground in the messages of It's A Wonderful Life and Sullivan's Travels.

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