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Directed by Preston Sturges

United States 1941 90 mins. In English

Sturges made a career on exquisitely rendered comedies with a strongly humanistic drive—and perhaps nowhere does this alchemical mixture come together so clearly as in his 1941 masterpiece Sullivan’s Travels. John Lloyd Sullivan (Joel McCrea), a sheltered Hollywood film director who makes middling dramas and variety pictures, gets a chance to direct a screen adaptation of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Sullivan becomes determined to know the experience of the real downtrodden of America, leaving Tinseltown with a only a dime in his pocket. False starts and Hollywood hangers-on bog him down, but after meeting an aspiring actress (Veronica Lake) in an all-night diner, Sullivan’s travels begin to take shape and meaning. Sturges shows great empathy for the poor of America with this semi-autobiographical film, and makes progress in a quest to understand the deeper meaning of the movies.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.