Since the bosses feel it would be a liability to them if Sullivan were to travel all alone, they arrange for him to have an entourage following him, writing stories about his travels, and photographing his escapades. Sullivan starts out like a hobo walking alone on the side of the road. A young boy of 13 pulls up and offers him a ride. What next ensues is perhaps the funniest scene in the entire movie. The 13 year old wants to be a tank driver so he sets off like mad, driving insanely fast and wildly out of control. The entourage that has been following Sullivan in a massive bus tries desperately to keep up, hurdling its occupants all over the place. Most funny is the cook who ends up with his head sticking out of the roof of the bus and then falls back down to the floor and gets smacked on the head by the door of the oven. Then a bowl of what appears to be pancake batter falls on his head and he is a royal mess.
After the bus plows into a pile of hay, Sullivan orders the 13 year old hooligan to stop and goes back to his entourage and persuades them that their following him is not a good idea. He advises they just go to Las Vegas and wait for him there. Not crazy enough to turn down a work-free vacation, they agree and each party sets off on their own.
Sullivan next ventures into a small café where he meets a nameless girl, played by Veronica Lake. She has been trying to make a go at it as an actress, but has given up and has plans to head back home. Seeing Sullivan's misfortunes, she offers to buy him some ham and eggs. Sullivan immediately takes a liking to her and offers to give her a lift back home. Still in Hollywood, he goes and gets his own car to drive her there. The police, seeing a hobo driving a nice car, believe he has stolen it and so both Sullivan and his female companion get arrested. Well, they eventually get released when the police realize their error. Sullivan then fesses up to the lovely Veronica, and tells her his plan of finding trouble.
She decides to join him on his journey. They plan to travel east and eventually take her back home. However, Sullivan must first have his butler call the railroad to find out how hobos board trains, another moment of comedic levity. After an awkward boarding of the train, Sullivan and the girl fall asleep in a pig stall. Sullivan gets some sort of allergic reaction to the hay and so when they wake up, they decide to get off the train. They wander into another café where they realize they are now in Las Vegas and Sullivan's entourage is just across the road. Hungry and wear worn, Sullivan goes back to the entourage where his doctor mandates that he stay in bed for three day to get better.
Back on the road again, scenes fly by as Sullivan and his girl mingle with the down and out. He eventually returns to his entourage and is prepared to start production on O Brother, Where Art Thou? but he decides to give one last thank you to his street companions in the form of five dollar bills. As he is handing out bills late one night, he is knocked out, robbed, and thrown onto a train car. As the robber is running off with the money, he accidentally stumbles and drops the money on the train tracks. As he is picking up the money, he gets run over by a train and dies. The people who find his body see some of Sullivan's belongings on him and mistake him for Sullivan. Word circles around the film community that Sullivan met his death mysteriously one night on the train tracks.
Meanwhile, Sullivan's train stops and he gets out where he is confronted by a railroad worker who hits him for hitching a ride on the train. Sullivan retaliates by bashing a rock against the workers face a couple times. For this misdeed, Sullivan is sentenced to six years of hard labor. He is not allowed to make any phone calls or write any letters to let anyone know he is still alive, as he has already seen newspaper pronouncements about his fate. He comes up with a scheme to get his pictures in the papers by confessing to the murder of himself. Of course, the mistake is quickly realized and he is back in Hollywood set to make the picture which has caused him so much trouble.
However, in a twist, Sullivan decides not to make O Brother, Where Art Thou? and instead he wants to continue making comedies. For, when he was in the labor camp, the one moment of happiness he and his fellow prisoners experienced was one night when they got to go to a picture show and watch a Mickey Mouse cartoon. He decides comedy is important because, for some people, it's all they've got.
So he now decides to hit the road, disguised as a tramp, and live in those conditions for a few months, and to experiment in his own flesh the lack of luxuries. In the road he meets "The Girl" (Veronica Lake), an unemployed actress who knows what is to live in those conditions, so now she decides to help him with his experiment. However, not everything is going to be that easy, because in their adventure they are going to find several obstacles that could make difficult to complete Sullivan's movie.
"Sullivan's Travels" is a very amusing movie, the director Preston Sturges did a good job, he created scenes where the comedy and the drama are mixed together with satisfying results. The movie has interesting situations, because it has an intelligent story and good performances. Also, "Sullivan's Travels" benefits with the presence of the elegant Veronica Lake