(Review originally written at 7 November 2008)

All in all, "Sullivan's Travels" was a movie I enjoyed watching but I also had some issues with it. The movie changes its style and tone too often and toward the end the movie is sort of 'loosing' it.

The movie begins as such a fun and adventurous movie, with a great story that showed even more potential. But it's more than a fun movie its also a clever one, that is multiple layered. For instance the movie can also been really watched as one about learning about yourself and live, when a successful Hollywood director goes undercover as an hobo to learn what it means to get in trouble and to live with no help from anyone and without all the money, so he can direct a tough drama he has set his mind on.

But the movie in the end is all about laughing and being happy. The movie is an homage to those who makes us laugh, which comes across a bit odd to me honestly. Seriously why dedicate a movie to a thing like that? Perhaps it was because there was a world war going on at the time? I don't know but it just seems like a silly thing to me.

So the movie has two contrasts in it, happy silly comedy and some tough serious drama with a message to it. I must say that this approach works out fine for most part of the movie but toward the end the movie is sort of loosing it, when its story starts to make some rather awkward turns and the comedy almost completely disappears out of the movie.

It nevertheless remains a well written movie, with also some fine comical dialog in it. I love '40's movies for often featuring this style of dialog. It becomes a huge part of the movie its comedy itself. But also the psychical comedy itself is great, though I wish the entire movie was more like its first 20 minutes or so. That way this movie surely would had been one of the most amusing ones I have seen in my life.

Joel McCrea is a rather unknown actor and one that acted mostly in western's throughout his career but he is really great in this movie. He looks something like the young Paul Newman but of course acts in a more comical way as he does. He was real fine in this movie and it's a bit of a shame that he never really fully broke through as an actor, or won any big important awards during his career. He worked more with director Preston Sturges after this movie but not even he could lift him to stardom.

Veronica Lake was surely one beautiful woman but her acting at times sort of tends to get annoying. She gets her cheeks tightly together when she speaks, or at least she sounds like that. Oh well, at least her looks really saves her performance and ensures that she is a pleasant addition to this movie.

A real mixed bag this one. On the one hand it's a real pleasant and entertaining movie to watch and on the other a bit too serious in parts and perhaps a bit too heavy handed.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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