Tag Archives: Joel McCrea

Sullivan’s Travels


directed by: Preston Sturges

Tonight is going to be a long night.  Lot to catch up on.  Topkapi (previous post) was probably watched a couple months ago, and never ended up finishing the write-up.  My fault.

Anyways here we go.  Sullivan’s Travels (SEE?! ITS LIKE GULLIVER’S TRAVELS) (more heavyhandedness to come)  is the story of a rich arrogant director type (played by McCrea) and his search to make a film about bums, tramps, hobos, etc.  The last time we saw McCrea, he was playing a rich arrogant foreign correspondent, so he’s got some background.  I liked him better in this overall, but not by much.  The guy just doesn’t hit the right buttons for me.  Anywho, this director… Sullivan, has a real nice , and I mean real nice, house and a pool and a butler and a valet (comic relief).  He’s also got a posse at the studio (more comic relief) watching out for his every move.  He tries escaping from them early on to really be on his own to bind with the poor common man, but ends up in the company of Ms. Lake

Fox.  Like total blonde babe, but in a super non-typical Hollywood sense, but super film noir / Kim Basinger LA-confidential (probably based on her appearance) sense.  The wavy blonde bangs. Gets you every time.  Couldn’t act much.  Eh, easy on the eyes.  And oh yeah, she even dresses up as a hobo as well for part of this.  Which makes her somehow more attractive? In some weird way only I would come up with.

So yada yada yada, he ends up really doing good things undercover, living amongst the bums, and at this point it feels like the film is going to wrap up. Alas, this is where the movie goes into like Act 8 and the producers were like hey we’ve gone this far, how about some more scenes and a new storyline?  And so we get to watch Sullivan beaten , Sullivan on a train, a cop beaten by Sullivan (for some reason), Sullivan sentenced to work on a chain gang (for some reason) , and then Sullivan realizing …he’s Sullivan and fantastically rich and so he doesn’t have to work on the chain gang anymore … and then writes a book/screenplay.  Called … You guessed it… O Brother, Where Art Thou? (LIKE THE COEN BROTHERS MOVIE?!) … and then the movie ends.  Odd.

Great/unsettling scene at the Southern Baptist all-black church where the chain gang goes and watches a Mickey Mouse/Pluto cartoon.  In the movie.  And there’s this montage of laughter.  Which was cool they showed a Mickey Mouse cartoon.

Underrated Actors: one of the posse of McCrea and of course Veronica Lake


Foreign Correspondent


directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Are we developing a theme for Hitchcock movies? Nah, but what of it? : ) Anyways, this is the other 1941 Hitchcock film, mentioned in the Rebecca post.  I think.  And if the picture shows up big enough, then you can see that George Sanders is in it. Yay! George Sanders! He’s a good man.

This film is basically a propaganda film for the west.  To keep your chin up about the war.  And to introduce…err.. keep up to date  American audiences to the war.   Joel McCrea stars as the titular foreign correspondent, though I didn’t really care for him.   Laraine Day though was a super babe.  Mrs. Brooklyn Dodgers.  or Mrs.  New York Giants. … no it was Mrs. Brooklyn Dodgers.  She was married to the manager of the team.  And now I’m going to go look this up and make sure I’m right about that.   A rare baseball – Hollywood crossover.  And it was New York Giants.   Okay anyways.

Plot wise, it’s pretty solid for the first Act and a half.  Some mistaken identity, body doubles, vague morality, villians masked as heroes, heroes masked as villians.  Overall, some textbook action, mystery, and suspense stuff.  Then, there’s  the Plane Crash.  Totally out of left field, and totally worth seeing it just for this.  I mean, it’s obvious it’s on a set , but it’s still totally cool how they film it and destroy/flood the plane.

A solid Hitchcock film, Sanders is exemplary.  Laraine Day is a fox, and Nazis are bad.

Underrated Actors: Obviously the two aforementioned.