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Arrowsmith (1931)

Approved | | Drama | 26 December 1931 (USA)
A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Sinclair Lewis (based upon the novel by), Sidney Howard (adapted for the screen by)
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ronald Colman ... Dr. Martin Arrowsmith
Helen Hayes ... Leora Tozer Arrowsmith
Richard Bennett ... Gustav Sondelius
A.E. Anson A.E. Anson ... Professor Max Gottlieb
Clarence Brooks Clarence Brooks ... Dr. Oliver Marchand
Alec B. Francis ... Twyford (as Alec Francis)
Claude King ... Dr. Tubbs
Bert Roach ... Bert Tozer
Myrna Loy ... Mrs. Joyce Lanyon
Russell Hopton ... Terry Wickett
David Landau ... State Veterinarian
Lumsden Hare ... Sir Robert Fairland - Governor
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Storyline

Based on a Sinclair Lewis novel "Martin Arrowsmith". A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HE FOUGHT FOR MAN... and lost a woman!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Swedish

Release Date:

26 December 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El doctor Arrowsmith See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald Colman was 40 when he took on the role of the idealistic young student doctor, Martin Arrowsmith. See more »

Goofs

Arrowsmith conducts a trial of his serum by giving it to half the potential plague victims and giving the other half nothing. Anyone who tried this in real life would provoke protests, if not riots. So these trials are conducted by giving half the people a placebo and not telling anyone which they are getting. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Martin Arrowsmith: Be informed, the first duty of a nurse is to stand when she speaks to a doctor.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The story of a man who dedicated his life to service and his heart to the love of one woman. See more »

Alternate Versions

The opening title is altered with a patch that covers a credit for United Artists, the original distributor. This was probably ordered by Goldwyn himself for reissues. See more »

Connections

Version of Arrowsmith (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding Dance
(uncredited)
Music by Paul Lincke
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What can I say "It tries but fails"
11 June 2005 | by raskimonoSee all my reviews

Arrowsmith is the big box office winner and well-reviewed movie of 1931 that made the NBR's ten best of the year and one of the big hits, that is top 20 of its year. An adaptation of that famous muckraker, Sinclair Lewis, at least it has made me curious to read the book upon which the movie is based, at least to find out if the theme is as muddled as this movie's theme is. First of all, what's there to like about this movie. The unstaginess and fluidity of the camera is almost ridiculous for a 1931 movie. In the early days of sound pictures through at least 1931, the camera did not move and most movies from back then feel extremely stagy. You ought to watch a big budget box office hit from the year before called Disraeli to ponder the nadir of such film-making. But the always reliable John Ford keeps the action flowing. The lack of studios sets and actual location filming especially in the boondocks is a nice change but Samuel Goldwyn was an independent producer not aligned with any studio. So this might explain that. Now, the problem is the always charming and debonair Englishman, Ronald Colman. For this fine actor and good line deliverer, this is not his finest hour at the least, especially a drunk to the point of going crazy scene which he just butchers and is a classic case of cringe-worthy acting. The plot as it is, appears to be pretty straightforward. Young doctor graduate, meets girl, falls in love, moves to small town to work for the people. Later, moves to big city, good old New York, where results and making the front page is a higher priority to serving science. But what exactly is wrong with the big hospitals with their corporate funding and what is the gain of being small as opposed to big is left unsatisfactorily explained. Instead we suffer through Hollywood melodrama as Helen Hayes suffers away as the good, supportive wife who pays the ultimate price for her man and dedication. Ford direction is crisp as always, especially a scene in the Caribbean Islands where he builds slow tension with exquisite lighting and framing as only John Ford can. the funny thing is I could see similarities btw the world of scientific research that is presented in this 30's movie and today's current health world we live in, so it is not outdated. Just sloppily put together in a fashion that leaves one seeking clarity and resulting in lack of resonance with this viewer.


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