Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Silly Meme / Day 3: Sullivan's Travels (1941)

I sometimes think that it was just possible that Preston Sturges got the wind in his sails a bit too early, and might have been better served as a writer by others when it came to directing. By becoming a writer, director, producer and ringleader of one too many movies in his short reign as one more "genius" in Hollywood, he burned out too fast. Then I see Sullivan's Travels (1941) once again, and the frantic tumult and shouting of his later movies fades away.

What remains is the crackling good dialogue supplied by Mr. Sturges and the beautifully timed comic acting of Joel McCrea, and Porter Hall, who asks and answers his own question, "Who goes to the Music Hall? Communists!" Robert Warwick is also extremely amusing in his deadpan way as the exec who keeps tossing in the request for "a little sex" in the upcoming opus about suffering humanity, "Oh Brother, Where Are You?".

This film, which is available on DVD, is a comic gem, and I thought you might enjoy a moment from the opening scene, poking fun at Hollywood, commies, capitalist running dogs, fatcats, limousine liberals, and sanctimoniousness in general.


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