Sullivan’s Travels is the sixth screening in the 2023 CIFF Student Classic Film Series, which runs through the end of May. This screening will take place on Sunday, May 14 from 1pm to 3:30pm in the Winn Room at the Coronado Public Library. It is free to middle and high schoolers, and parents/grandparents/guardians are welcome as long as they are attending with a student.*
Come for a hilarious Mother’s Day movie as CIFF screens famed director Preston Sturges’ hysterical satirical send-up of Hollywood elites’ hypocrisy in yearning to make preachy, socially relevant dramas for audiences, by creating deeply symbolic stories speaking to the plight of society’s downtrodden, something about which most know little or nothing.
Sturges’ screenplay follows the misadventures of famed and successful Hollywood comedy director, John L. Sullivan (memorably played by Joel McCrea), responsible for such intellectual cinematic masterworks like Hey, Hey in the Hayloft and Ants in Your Plants of 1939. After a series of false starts always seem to land him back in Hollywood, Sullivan meets a world-weary girl (played wonderfully by 1940’s “it-girl”, Veronica Lake) who is headed back home after miserably failing in her quest to “make it in Hollywood.” This misfit couple resolves to ride the rails together, posing as hobos to experience, firsthand, the plight of humanity, only after Sullivan’s butler and valet (the always hilarious Eric Blore) check on freight train schedules and “boarding protocols”. Sullivan’s epic journey comes to its end only after he confesses to murder, which proves to be his only path to salvation. In a comic turnabout for the ages, “Sullivan’s Travels” prove not to be in vain. After being served a very healthy and brutal dose of reality, Sullivan grasps an important truth: “There’s a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that’s all some people have? It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan.”
The second season of the Student Classic Film Series will wrap on May 28th, with a Memorial Day Weekend screening of William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives.
* IMPORTANT: Screenings are rated “GPA:” Gee, should I invite a Parent or Adult? No one OVER 18 will be admitted unless accompanied by a student! No Exceptions! While screenings are free, reservations are strongly recommended. For more information and reservations go to coronadofilmfest.com, select the “Year-Round” drop-down menu and “Student Classic Program.”