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Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Comedy, Drama | 6 February 1942 (USA)
A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

Director:

Preston Sturges

Writer:

Preston Sturges
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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Storyline

Sullivan is a successful, spoiled, and naive director of fluff films, with a heart-o-gold, who decides he wants to make a film about the troubles of the downtrodden poor. Much to the chagrin of his producers, he sets off in tramp's clothing with a single dime in his pocket to experience poverty first-hand, and gets some reality shock. Written by Bob Doolittle <Bob.Doolittle@east.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sullivans Reisen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$689,665 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,507,000, 31 December 1941
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Milwaukee Thursday 9 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), followed by Seattle 24 April 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), by Phoenix 24 May 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), by Pittsburgh 11 September 1959 on KDKA (Channel 2), by Detroit 6 December 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2), by Indianapolis 19 July 1960 on WFBM (Channel 6), and, finally, by New York City 25 August 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 21 August 2001 and again 6 March 2012 as part of the Criterion Collection and also 21 November 2006 as one of seven titles in Universal's Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection and . Since that time, it's also enjoyed frequent cable TV airings on Turner Classic Movies. See more »

Goofs

John was sentenced for hitting the railway man with a stone. It seems this sentence would still hold even if he was Hollywood director. See more »

Quotes

John L. Sullivan: [to the girl] Why don't you go back to the car? You look as much like a boy as Mae West.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, the Paramount logo is depicted as a seal on a package wrapped in brown paper. The package is opened, revealing a book with the title of the movie. The pages are turned to show the credits. See more »

Connections

References The Kid (1921) See more »

Soundtracks

Spring Song
(1844) (uncredited)
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played as part of the score when Sullivan starts his experiment
Reprised when he starts a second time
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A celebration of the healing power of comedy
8 February 2001 | by tork0030See all my reviews

As a professional circus clown for twenty years,I think that Sullivan's Travels is the best, most lucid, explanation of what comedy is all about that has ever been made. Sure it's hokey, corny, contrived, and meandering. But so is all great comedy, from Shakespeare to Seinfeld! If you want your comedy to be tightly constructed, meaningful, unambiguous, and logical, then you do not want comedy at all -- you want some stuffy college professor's idea of What is Comedy for a term paper.

The glorious truth is that you cannot domesticate great comedy. It occurs on no regular basis, from no reliable source, and is accountable to no one for what it says and does. Preston Sturges wanted to make that point in Sullivans Travels and he does so exceedingly well with everything from slapstick frolics in the land cruiser to fleas in the bed to hectoring soliloquies about poverty from the butler.

Ten years before Chaplin tried to explain the same thing in his movie Limelight, Sturges tells a tale meant to both hearten and cozen us. It heartens us to know that a cynical, moneygrubbing place like Hollywood will continue to spin out comedies, because they make money. And it cozens us into thinking there is something magical about comedians. Anyone who has ever actually known or been married to a professional funnyperson knows they are by turns grumpy, lazy, tempermental, stubborn, and always insecure. Not the life of the party. But so what? They're clowns, god bless 'em, and that's all that counts.

You'll never understand the craft of humor if you don't watch, and love, Preston Sturges Sullivan's Travels!


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