A Tall Drink of Water

Stars we love at the Paramount Summer Classic Film series

<i>Sullivan's Travels</i>
Sullivan's Travels

Lake Sure Drives a Movie Home

She'd already sparked attention with her peek-a-boo hairstyle in the war drama I Wanted Wings, but Preston Sturges' comedy Sullivan's Travels (1941) was the first starring role for the Brooklyn-born Veronica Lake. Brightening the screen opposite lead Joel McCrea, Lake's a cynosure of streetwise loveliness as her smooth way with the requisite wisecrack banter proves no less compelling than the cataract of wavy blond obscuring, occasionally, her right eye – as if that eye were not the lapis lazuli equal of its twin, and the platinum veil of hair worked the way her industry moniker (attached by a film producer named Hornblow) worked to obscure her birth name of Constance Ockelman, the way the more popular fictions captured in Hollywood's celluloid footage can obscure a less glamorous past of multiple divorces, a losing battle with booze, and a fizzled career that concluded with the low-budget horror film Flesh Feast in 1970, three years before Lake's death at 50.

Hair today, gone tomorrow – with a limelight duration shorter than Alan Ladd.

But never mind that, kid. Here's some Forties-era social fantasy at its most enjoyable, with a bit of a message mixed with the mishegas. As the titular Hollywood director Sullivan remarks sometime after his Skid Row epiphany: "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan."

Sullivan's Travels: Tue., June 3, 9:30pm; Wed., June 4, 7pm (P)

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
New Live Comedy Show Is Doper Than What, Exactly?
What's Doper Than Dope, you ask?
Heckle Her Productions goes all Nineties-style with latest comedy gig

July 13, 2016

Only the Fourth Wall Is Forever
Only the Fourth Wall Is Forever
After 10 years, Salvage Vanguard Theater is moving on

June 24, 2016

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)