Cast and Crew: T Bone Burnett (Original Music); Roger Deakins (Cinematography) John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Charles Durning
What It’s About: Ulysses Everett McGill’s (George Clooney) encounters strange people and events on his odyssey from a chain gang to his home as he attempts to retrieve his ill-gotten gains before they are flooded over by a new dam.
Why Watch it Today?: The Coen Brothers draw both on classical mythology and classic film in today’s movie, starting with the title which is taken from screwball comedy great Preston Sturges (born on this date in 1898) film Sullivan’s Travels. To give you an idea of the level to which the Coens take their usually packed worked, Sullivan’s Travels is itself about a film director posing as hobo so he can get an idea of how the common people live for his planned move from comedy to meaningful contemporary drama, which he intends to title O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and the earlier film ends in a prison camp screening of a comedy. The Coens’ version sports a great cast and a great soundtrack.
I need to finally see ALL of this, as I’ve been meaning to, but I want to sit through Sullivan’s Travels first so I get all the in-jokes and such. Eh, it’ll get done before the year is out, as this one’s a cable staple these days and is almost always playing when I look it up.
I say just watch this one-I don’t think there are many Sullivan’s Travel references beyond the title and the fact that this one sort of starts where Sullivan’s Travel ends-with a chain gang.