In Preston Sturges' classic comedy of Depression-era America, filmmaker John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea), fed up with directing profitable comedies like "Ants in Your Plants of 1939," is consumed with the desire to make a serious social statement in his upcoming film, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" Unable to function in the rarefied atmosphere of Hollywood, Sullivan decides to hit the road, disguised as a tramp, and touch base with the "real" people of America. But Sullivan's studio transforms his odyssey into a publicity stunt, providing the would-be nomad with a luxury van, complete with butler (Robert Greig) and valet (Eric Blore). Advised by his servants that the poor resent having the rich intrude upon them, Sullivan escapes his retinue and continues his travels incognito. En route, he meets a down-and-out failed actress (Veronica Lake). Experiencing firsthand the scroungy existence of real-life hoboes, Sullivan returns to Hollywood full of bleeding-heart fervor. After first arranging for the girl's screen test, he heads for the railyards, intending to improve the lot of the local rail-riders and bindlestiffs by handing out ten thousand dollars in five-dollar bills. Instead, Sullivan is coldcocked by a tramp, who steals Sullivan's clothes and identification. When the tramp is run over by a speeding train, the world at large is convinced that the great John L. Sullivan is dead. Meanwhile, the dazed Sullivan, dressed like a bum with no identification on his person, is arrested and put to work on a brutal Southern chain gang. With its almost Shakespearean combination of uproarious comedy and grim tragedy, Sullivan's Travels is Sturges' masterpiece and one of the finest movies about movies ever made. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
|Series||Criterion collection ; 118.|
Motion picture producers and directors
Motion pictures -- Production and direction -- Drama.
Video recordings for the hearing impaired.
Action and adventure films.
|Publisher|| [New York] :The Criterion Collection,2015
|Edition||DVD special edition, Full screen.|
1901-1968, film producer.
McCrea, Joel, 1905-1990, actor.
Sturges, Preston, film director, screenwriter.
Lake, Veronica, actor.
Warwick, Robert, 1878-1964, actor.
Demarest, William, actor.
Hayes, Margaret, 1916-1977, actor.
Hall, Porter, 1888-1953, actor.
Pangborn, Franklyn, 1889-1958, actor.
Blore, Eric, 1887-1959, actor.
Shuken, Leo, 1906-1976, composer.
Bradshaw, Charles W., composer.
Paramount Pictures, Inc., production company.
Criterion Collection (Firm), publisher.
Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Margaret Hayes, Porter Hall, Franklin Pangborn, Eric Blore.
Director of photography, John Seitz ; music, Leo Shuken, Charles Bradshaw ; editor, Stuart Gilmore.
In English; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SDH).
Title from container.
Originally released as a motion picture in 1941.
Special features: Audio commentary from 2001 by filmmakers Noah Baumbach, Kenneth Bowser, Christopher Guest, and Michael McKean; Preston Sturges: the rise and fall of an American dreamer (1990), a 75-minute documentary made by Bowser for PBS's American Masters series; New video essay by film critic David Cairns, featuring filmmaker Bill Forsyth; Interview from 2001 with Sandy Sturges, the director's widow; Interview with Sturges by gossip columnist Hedda Hopper from 1951; Archive audio recordings of Sturges; Essay by critic Stuart Klawans.
DVD; NTSC; region 1; full screen (1.37:1) presentation; Dolby Digital, monaural.
1 videodisc (90 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 folded insert.