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Sturges fell into drama when he became ill and read about creating dramas while recooperating. His first major play "Strictly Dishonorable" became a huge Broadway hit in the 30's. As a child Sturges' mother became "friends" with Isadora Duncan and Sturges was dragged around with the two of them and had a very unconvetional upbringing nicely profiled in the original PBS Emmy winning documentary "Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer". "The Power and the Glory" Sturges first written screenplay earned him over $17,000 in the 30's against the profits of the film by producer Jesse Lasky. Sturges already had made enemies in Hollywood by becoming wildly successful as an independent writer and later director.Read more ›
For once - a Criterion disc I can actually recommend on every level. First, the DVD quality of this classic film is bar none the most outstanding effort from Criterion thus far. The gray scale is superbly balanced. Blacks are black. Contrast and shadow levels are amazing. Fine details are well represented. There is some minor edge enhancement and aliasing, but it is so slight and infrequent that I really shouldn't be mentioning it at all. There's barely any digital or film grain for a smooth, thoroughly captivating visual presentation. The audio is mono but cleaned up in such a way that one hardly notices its dated shortcomings.
AT LAST - as an extra, Criterion gives us "Preston Sturges: A Life" a thoroughly engrossing, in-depth, full fledged documentary on the man, the making of this movie, as well as a time line documenting Sturges' many other films with a multitude of background material and snippets from each of the movies in Sturges' canon. The documentary is so good, you'll want to watch it twice. Yes, there's also an audio commentary and the usual Lux Radio junket that accompanies most Criterion classic titles. But the documentary is what counts here.
BOTTOM LINE: A MUST HAVE DISC FOR ANY FILM BUFF!
From these rather high concept beginnings, one would expect to find a straightforward comedy wherein our hero comes to realize that the poor are people too. That movie is here, to be sure, but it's not presented in any conventional manner. In fact, that part of the story is basically covered within the first thirty minutes. Which leaves the discerning audience member, one who's been paying attention all along and is well-versed in cinematic narrative convention, wondering, "Where do we go from here?" It is to Sturges' ultimate credit that this question is answered in due time and with tremendous skill.
The film is mostly a pure comedy, able to dabble in all different kinds of humour, indulging in farce, screwball, verbal wit, and light romance. But Sturges proves a master at mixing tones, as he is also able to dip a toe into harsh drama, straight social commentary, suspense thriller, and bold satire. It's one of the most versatile films I know, in that it takes a bite from every dish at the buffet, allowing them all to digest together perfectly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The greatest film written and directed by a single person. I first saw it in a film class at UCLA. The blending of farce, social realism and melodrama are unparalleled. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Gen. Smedley D. Butler
As the phrase goes, "there's a fine line between genius and insanity". This movie is on that line! I love this movie, to me it's epitome of ingenuity in movie production.Published 25 days ago by jmcookie
To date, I have bought Sullivan's Travels four times - one Criterion DVD (my first exposure to the film), a bare-bones inclusion in a big Preston Sturges DVD collection (nothing to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Cobo
Timeless movie with a great story line and meaning. A great mix of drama and comedy brought to life by a hit parade of actors. A classic to be revisited often.Published 1 month ago by Josh in FLA
Writer Preston Sturges directs this gem with lightening paced dialogue. Both leads shine, especially tiny Veronica Lake in probably her best known role of her short lived career. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Classics Collector
I'm no movie buff but this movie was awesome! And this is coming from a 23 year old legging wearing, Starbucks ordering basic white bïtch. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chandler S.
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