Sully Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is a successful director of light comedies for a major film studio during the Depression. The work pays well, but it's fluff. Sullivan believes it's his calling to make a serious film that will ease the burden of his impoverished fellow man through a unique blend of social consciousness and sex. Problem is, Sullivan doesn't know squat about human suffering. If he wants to make his big statement picture, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
, he'll need to suffer like the rest of those poor slobs outside the industry. So he hops the rails in hobo mufti, meets a failed actress (the gorgeous Veronica Lake) on her way out of town and experiences more suffering than he aimed to find. Sullivan's Travels
, Preston Sturges' comedy about the business of making those Oscar-worthy movies, is a prescient hoot that satirizes Hollywood phonies, overly earnest filmmakers and the eternal art-versus-commerce argument. The Webster Film Series screens this American classic at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday (July 3 through 5) at Moore Auditorium on Webster University's campus (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries
). Tickets are $5 to $6.
July 3-5, 2009