Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Hallelujah, I'm a bum!

Sullivan's Travels (1941) on IMDb

Plot Overview

hoboHollywood director John L. "Sully" Sullivan (Joel McCrea) views the dailies of his film about “our troublous times” in which, “Capital and Labor destroy each other.” When challenged by the studio about his sheltered life, he conducts a self-educational experiment. With wardrobe's aid and 10¢ in his pocket, he sets off to rub shoulders with the great unwashed. The studio fearful of loss on their investment trails him with a troupe carrier and a Whippet Tank on point.

Before long he's teamed up with a blonde, broke ‘B’ movie extra (Veronica Lake)—“There's always a girl in the picture”—who has thrown in the towel having failed to get her big break in show business. This peripatetic pair has a penchant for progressing in parabolas, but it looks like it will end well … or does it?


(Eccl. 7:8) “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Sully's marriage was sure better ended than begun. His experiment maybe will end well if he's patient enough to see it through all the way.

(Eccl. 7:9) “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” He seemed to get quickly angry with a rail­road bull, which probably is not going to do him any good.

(Eccl. 7:10) “Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.” The studio bosses sure bragged about the hard­ships they'd over­come in their earlier days. Perhaps an exaggeration.

(Eccl. 7:11-12) “Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” Sully did well to be wise, and to have an inheritance to back him up. But when he had nothing and no-one, using his noggin was a life saver.

(Eccl. 7:13) “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?” It seemed to be of God that Sully used some evasive maneuvers to shake his minders.

(Eccl. 7:14) “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” The ending looked like it would be great. Then more trouble comes. Finally, Sully has a good idea what kind of movie he wants to make, but we don't know if it actually gets made.

Production Values

” (1941) is based somewhat on Jonathan Swift's book, Gulliver's Travels, and reflects some of the life of the writer and director of this film, Preston Sturges. It stars Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, and Robert Warwick. It had a solid performance by Joel McCrea. Lake did well, too, but she had limited screen time after a point. The supporting actors were solid. The dialogue was natural, fast, and witty.

The ratings are, Australia: PG; Canada: PG (video rating); United Kingdom: PG (2000, re-rating); United States: Not Rated, Approved, TVG (TV rating.) The sharp script made it stand out above other similar comedies.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This one was good for laughs, plot twists, and never a dull moment. There are life lessons embedded in it as well. Good movie behind-the-scenes fare. A winner.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability for children: Suitable for children with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.