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Sullivan's Travels (1942)

Joel McCrea , Veronica Lake , Preston Sturges  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn
  • Directors: Preston Sturges
  • Writers: Preston Sturges
  • Producers: Paul Jones
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006TTC5A4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,505 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Trailer
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Lew Wasserman Era

  • Editorial Reviews

    Written and directed by Preston Sturges, Sullivan’s Travels is one of the greatest Hollywood satires ever made. John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is an idealist filmmaker who decides to make a serious, socially responsible movie instead of his typical comedic fare.  Realizing that he cannot accurately direct a screen tragedy unless he lived it first, he decides to hit the road disguised as a hobo. Along the way, he meets a beautiful yet cynical wanderer (Veronica Lake) and finds himself in more trouble than he ever imagined.  Featuring a timeless message that continues to resonate with audiences today, this heartwarming masterpiece illustrates the importance of laughter in the world.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Sturges' Travels well worth the journey March 26, 2005
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    Any Preston Sturges film even the lesser ones are worth watching for their snappy dialogue and comedic sequences alone. With "Sullivan's Travels" we catch Sturges at the top of his game. Joel McCrea the everyman of the 40's turns in a terrific performance as the bright but lightweight director John Sullivan (Sully to his friends). Sully wants to make serious pictures after a career of churning out lightweight comedies. His next project "O Brother Where Art Thou" (wittily referenced in the Cohen brothers film of the same name nearly six decades later)will be a socially conscious look at the suffering of the common man. The only problem is that Sully knows absolutely nothing about suffering or hardship. Sully decides to rough it as a hobo and discovers much more than he wanted to about suffering. He meets "The Girl" (Veronica Lake lovely as ever)and discovers more about the world than he ever imagined.

    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.
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    27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars VERONICA LAKE'S BIG BREAK A TREAT ON DVD April 22, 2003
    By Nix Pix
    Format:DVD
    After a string of B-movies, legendary cool babe, Veronica Lake graduated to the big time in this screwball message picture by director, Preston Sturges. Actor, Joel McCrea is John L. Sullivan, a director of frothy film comedies who desires to make a truly gritty motion picture about the "suffering of humanity". One problem - he doesn't know the first thing about suffrage, having been born with a silver spoon and thrust into a lucrative career with money to burn. So what's a desperate rich guy to do? He decides to impersonate a hobo and ride the rails in search of 'real' life. He finds Veronica Lake and a heap of trouble instead.
    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!
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    20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Criterion Transfer of a Classic July 30, 2004
    Format:DVD
    Sullivan's Travels is one of a group of comedy classics created by Preston Sturges during the early to mid-forties, each and every one a gem. Everyone will have a favourite (my personal weak spot is The Lady Eve) but Sullivan's Travels grows in my affections with every viewing. It is always remarkable to witness how influential the movie is, particularly, but not exclusively, in the works of the Coen brothers. Joel McRae is playing the director who goes looking for the underbelly of America and along the way he finds Veronica Lake. She could not be equaled, from the first moment her famous look is seen in the film until her laughter at the end. She looked like a smoldering noir femme fatale and spoke and acted like a screwball comedienne. It was a style not suited for many pictures but it was a perfect match for Preston Sturges in this one and she does very well by him and vice versa. The change in the movie from comedy to pathos, troubing and too abrupt for some viewers, is beautifully handled and the church sequence with the prisoners and the black parishioners is astonishing and handled with great cinematic skill. Criterion must also be congratulated, again, for the wonderful extras, particularly the documentary on Sturges.
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    16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Preston, Where Art Thou? September 13, 2002
    Format:VHS Tape
    I, like many others of my generation I suspect, first came to know of writer/director Preston Sturges' "Sullivan's Travels" via its association with the Coen Brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" The latter movie took its name from a film-within-the-film from the former. John L. Sullivan, a director of successful lowbrow comedies, unhappy with his lofty lot in life, itches to make a socially conscious drama about poverty called... wait for it... "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" When it's pointed out that Sullivan, borne from the lap of luxury, could not possibly know the first thing about being poor, he decides to raid the movie studio's costume department for a hobo's outfit, and ride the rails in order to gain some life experience.
    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.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great combination of high-brows and hobos
    Entertaining, upbeat, well acted, a variety of interesting characters. Great combination of high-brows and hobos. Read more
    Published 5 days ago by William H. Heuer
    5.0 out of 5 stars One-of-a Kind , classic Preston Sturges and Joel McCrea !!
    This great film is a little-known classic by director Preston Sturges. It also happens to be the original source for the title "O Brother Where Art Thou" , and served... Read more
    Published 6 days ago by David C. Petersen
    5.0 out of 5 stars I fell in love with it too
    Husband talked about this movie often, so I brought it for his Birthday. I fell in love with it too. Buy it and enjoy!
    Published 6 days ago by Donna Madison
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie! We had been wanting to watch for ...
    Great movie! We had been wanting to watch for years & finally found it on Amazon.
    Published 12 days ago by T. J. Socha
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Perfect transaction good oldie.
    Published 16 days ago by Mary Kolb
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Excellent would order again!
    Published 16 days ago by JFV "JJ"
    5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Preston Surgess
    Immortal. My favorite Preston Surgess.
    Published 28 days ago by James T. de Kay
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    It was a great movie back in its time, back in the 1940's.
    Published 1 month ago by MikeTHXearth
    5.0 out of 5 stars Veronica Lake's performance is excellent and makes the movie a success
    Even though Mr. McCrea's attitude towards Veronica Lake is very obvious, Veronica Lake's performance is excellent and makes the movie a success.
    Published 2 months ago by Carmen Davila
    1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Region
    I wasted my money. DVD wouldn't play. It displayed 'wrong region'
    Published 2 months ago by john norris
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