7.8/10
7,370
84 user 25 critic

Dodsworth (1936)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 23 September 1936 (USA)
A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Sinclair Lewis (novel), Sidney Howard (dramatisation) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Walter Huston ... Sam Dodsworth
Ruth Chatterton ... Fran Dodsworth
Paul Lukas ... Arnold Iselin
Mary Astor ... Edith Cortright
David Niven ... Captain Lockert
Gregory Gaye ... Kurt Von Obersdorf
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Baroness Von Obersdorf (as Mme. Maria Ouspenskaya)
Odette Myrtil ... Renée de Penable
Spring Byington ... Matey Pearson
Harlan Briggs ... Tubby Pearson
Kathryn Marlowe Kathryn Marlowe ... Emily Dodsworth McKee
John Payne ... Harry McKee (as John Howard Payne)
Edit

Storyline

A bittersweet tale of the increasing estrangement of a retired automobile tycoon and his wife. Increasingly obsessed with maintaining an appearance of youth, she falls in with a crowd of frivolous socialites during their "second honeymoon" European vacation. He, in turn, meets a woman who is everything she is not: self-assured, self-confident, and able to take care of herself. Written by Sonya Roberts <sonya_roberts@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Secrets of WOMAN'S LOVE-LIFE comes this Heart-stopping story of DEVOTION! SACRIFICE! SHAME! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Italian

Release Date:

23 September 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dodsworth See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Ruth Chatterton's final American film. See more »

Goofs

Fran's arm position changes when she leans on the mantle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Secretary: [offscreen] Mr. Dodsworth?
Sam Dodsworth: Yes.
Secretary: The men are ready.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1946 re-release, shown on the Turner Classic Movies channel, lists the end credits with a different order: Kathryn Marlowe is listed after Harlan Briggs, and John Payne is listed last, after Marlowe. See more »

Connections

Featured in American Masters: Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Shim, Sham, Shimmy
(uncredited)
Written by Jimmy Dorsey, Fulton McGrath
[played in the ship's bar]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Show me an actor of Walter Huston's caliber working today.
14 November 2004 | by ecjones1951See all my reviews

"Dodsworth" has been on my short list of must-see films for decades, and I finally had my chance to see it last night. I'm still in awe. (Others have made cogent observations about the acting of the other principals in the cast, so I will confine my comments specifically to Walter Huston.) There are people who will complain that this film is "slow," that it is "boring," that "nothing ever happens in it." Too bad for them, because this is a master class in acting of the highest order.

It is difficult to pull off a film like "Dodsworth" without betraying its stage origins, but this one feels and moves like a movie, not a play. (Of course, its genesis is a lengthy Sinclair Lewis novel, but the contributions of the gifted Sidney Howard -- who adapted the novel for the stage and the screen -- cannot be overlooked.) Walter Huston, who also played Sam Dodsworth in the Broadway play, was that rarest of actors, equally adept at playing to the back row of the balcony and giving a quiet wink to another 20-foot-tall face on a movie screen.

Anyone can buff up and wield a sword or tumble from a parking garage after being shot eleven times. But it takes a truly gifted screen actor to make the mundane seem utterly real; to shade a line just so, to achieve perfect pitch with every gesture, every glance. Huston was just such an actor, who, if he is remembered at all today it as John Huston's father, or the "old guy" in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre." Too bad again, because Huston was one of the finest actors in the history of American movies. He was not a movie star, but he totally embodied every role he ever played, and never gave a poor performance.

The narrative of "Dodsworth" is mature, intelligently handled material. It is impeccably directed by William Wyler. No one has ever remade it, though remakes have been considered. There are directors working today who could handle "Dodsworth," but it really merits more sophisticated treatment than the extensive nudity and profusion of strong language that would inevitably be written into a new script. It's much better left alone, and it deserves a far larger audience than it has ever had in the 68 years since its release.


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