Film Review: Sullivan’s Travels

Film Review: Sullivan’s Travelsdir Preston Sturges
1941

Bought this for a fiver and watched it with my mum last night. How brilliant! John Sullivan (aka Lemuel Gulliver) is cosseted and enormously successful director of light musical comedies. He’s restless and self-loathing, and wants to make Films with a Message (specifically, a dour-sounding epic called ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou?’) The studio is, understandably, reluctant, and the early sequence with him in hobo dress being followed by a land yacht containing a cook, personal physician, etc is priceless.

Sturges had a stable of great actors working for him – in this one the chauffeur and the butler almost steal the movie, which is amazing given it stars Joel McCrea and Veronica (that hair!!!) Lake.

This is explicitly a film about films, but not in a chin-stroking wanky metafictional kind of way. We move from screwball to slapstick to ‘cinema verite’ to German Expressionism to gruesome prison flick at a terrific pace. Sturges is at all times completely in control. Amazing.

Preston Sturges led a, well, startling life, well recounted in a bonus doco ‘The Rise and Fall of Preston Sturges’.

Advertisements

About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
This entry was posted in film review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s