Return to Film tab
Sullivan’s Travels
This study guide uses Sullivan’s Travels to introduce the process of reading movies according their functions and implications. The larger goal being to find a path for Christian reflection on American culture as embodies in feature films. Accomplishing this goal requires at least two things: one, considering what are, ideally, the purposes and social functions of movies, and two, thinking through the theological implication of movies.
View Sullivan’s Travels.
What, according to the movie, is the function of the movies?
... for studio managers?
... for directors?
... for the public relations personnel?
… for the media?
… for film critics?
... for would-be actors/actresses?
... well-to-do and middle-class movie-goers?
... underprivileged movie-goers?
... religious movie-goers?
... the filmmakers?
What was the importance of the scene
. . . in the studio’s screening room?
. . . in the theater?
. . . in the church?
Were there any negative views of the movies in the movie?

What did Sullivan learn about the purpose and value of movies? Now, how does the character Sullivan’s acquired view of a movie’s presentation of social troubles align with the movie Sullivan’s Travels itself? That is, how does the film handle comedy and social difficulties? SPOILER (do not click until after viewing the film) 

Also, it may be useful to work through some general interpretation of the film. 

Return to Film tab