|The posters for Sullivan’s Travels|
emphasize “The Girl.”
John L. (Sully) Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is a successful motion picture director best know for light comedies and musicals like Ants in Your Plants of 1939. However, at this point in his career he wants to tackle more serious fare. “Something like Capra” studio executive Mr. Hadrian (Porter Hall) says, to which Sullivan retorts. “What’s the matter with Capra?” He wants to film O, Brother Where Art Thou?, a novel that deals with “social significance” (think The Grapes of Wrath). Sullivan says “conditions have changed, these are troublous times.” The studio executives, Mr. Lebrand (Robert Warwick) and Mr. Hadrian, see their top moneymaker slipping away so they ask Sullivan what he knows about trouble? While Lebrand and Hadrian contrast Sullivan’s charmed life—boarding school, college—with their own hardscrabble youth—mostly fiction—selling newspapers and supporting their families. Sullivan has to admit that he doesn’t know what trouble is. At this point, Lebrand and Hadrian try to coax him into making Ants in Your Pants of 1941 with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Mary Martin, Jack Benny and Rochester, all names movie audiences would have been familiar with. This name-dropping continues throughout, which makes it even more enjoyable for classic movie fans.
|Preston Sturges directs Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea|
|McCrea and Lake at a revival meeting|
|Sullivan and the chain gang watch a Mickey Mouse cartoon.|
|Sullivan has an epiphany!|
|Sullivan is too happy to make O, Brother Where Art Thou?|
This post is part of the Hollywood on Hollywood blogathon sponsored by the Classic Movie Blog Association (CMBA) running from October 17 to October 21, 2016. To read more posts in the Hollywood on Hollywood blogathon, click here.