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Dodsworth

Released Sep 23, 1936 1h 41m Drama List
91% Tomatometer 22 Reviews 86% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings When Sam Dodsworth (Walter Huston), the head of a car company, embarks on a vacation in Europe with his youth-obsessed wife, Fran (Ruth Chatterton), the couple find themselves growing apart. Soon Fran is flirting with other men and embracing a spontaneous and impulsive lifestyle, while Sam is left on his own. However, after running into the lively and independent Edith Cortwright (Mary Astor), an acquaintance from their transatlantic trip, Sam realizes that he may find love again. Read More Read Less Watch on Prime Video Stream Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (22) Critics Reviews
Adam Kempenaar Filmspotting [Chatterton] is absolutely defiant in that scene [with Kurt and the Baroness]. She doesn’t back down for a second even as her world is crumbling... Rated: 4/5 Mar 16, 2024 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader By far the most sensitive, restrained, and effective piece of direction Wyler ever turned in, the film achieves a measure of greatness through the dignity and depth of Huston's superb interpretation of the plainspoken Yankee. Oct 16, 2007 Full Review Elliott Stein Village Voice Huston is superb as the plainspoken Midwestern businessman whose blissful world falls apart. The film remains the most emotionally compelling of Wyler's career. Oct 16, 2007 Full Review Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies Dodsworth, under the direction of William Wyler, is one of the best pieces of cinema to come out of the 1930s... Rated: 4.5/5 Nov 9, 2020 Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins The plot may sound like a soap opera, but the acting, script, and execution are absolutely perfect. Rated: 10/10 Jul 26, 2020 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy A remarkably mature movie, full of keen insights, savory dialogue ("Love has got to stop someplace short of suicide"), and intuitive performances. Rated: 3.5/4 Apr 9, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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David F I’m not sure I got this. The story involves an auto baron who sells up in his mature age and goes to Europe with his wife. She wants to experience more of life, in the arms of European lovers, and the marriage slowly falls apart. It’s sad and wistful and I suppose a bit more sophisticated emotionally than most of what Hollywood was churning out in 1936. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 05/01/24 Full Review Mark B A fairly forgettable film. Well-acted, especially by Walter Huston and Ruth Chatterton. A young David Niven steals an early scene. What will keep the film in my mind are three things. First, the amazing restoration funded by George Lucas' foundation. Two, that the characters breeze through western Europe, both playing tourist and actually trying the settle in. Who knew that in less than two years, the entire continent would be experiencing the onset of WWII. Three, I once had a spouse who, after 20 years, needed to "be apart for a while." I gave her the no-strings-attached deal that Dodsworth offers Fran, for six months. And, just like the Dodsworth's, it didn't help. And to think I thought I was being so original! (#445 in my "watch all Best Picture Nominees" bucket list) Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/21/24 Full Review nick s Very good cinematography for the time and impressive acting. The story was subtle and had an interesting angle, but it was meandering. For me it kind of dragged a bit. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 12/05/23 Full Review Audience Member The movie is an absolute classic. A tale of two women in a man's life. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member "Dodsworth" is a disarmingly honest and frank depiction of a failed marriage, based on the Sinclair Lewis novel. Its naturalistic acting and its refusal to make its characters anything less than full-bodied human beings make it feel way ahead of its time. It's never mentioned along with other classic films of the period--probably because it doesn't have an epic scope--but it should be. Walter Huston gives an absolutely flawless performance in the title role. His type is so recognizable, even today: the successful American business man who values the simplest and most traditional of American values, and who comes across as provincial and crass to the rest of the world. Ruth Chatterton meets Huston's performance every step of the way as Dodsworth's wife, glad of the material comfort her husband can provide, but embarrassed by him and aware that he will prevent her from joining the world of high culture to which she wants to belong. It is to the movie's distinct credit that neither of these characters is either hero or villain. Dodsworth is crass and unsophisticated; yet at the same time he's honest and never misleads his wife into thinking he's something that he's not. Mrs. Dodsworth has a right to be bored by the kind of life Dodsworth is content with, but she might have thought of that before so readily accepting his financial success. I don't really know for sure, but I have a feeling this movie might have made people very uncomfortable in 1936. I doubt married couples were encouraged to turn too critical an eye on their own marriages back then, and I suspect that more people than not decided to stick it out in unhappy marriages rather than violate a sense of social propriety. Before the days when people dated for a few years before getting married, many people probably learned about the kind of person they were marrying only after the wedding day. "Dodsworth" beautifully captures the sad, melancholy feeling of waking up one morning and realizing you're not married to the person you thought you were. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Steve20 M A flawless look at life, love, the relationship between husband and wife over time and how it defines who we are and our will to live. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/27/21 Full Review Read all reviews
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Movie Info

Synopsis When Sam Dodsworth (Walter Huston), the head of a car company, embarks on a vacation in Europe with his youth-obsessed wife, Fran (Ruth Chatterton), the couple find themselves growing apart. Soon Fran is flirting with other men and embracing a spontaneous and impulsive lifestyle, while Sam is left on his own. However, after running into the lively and independent Edith Cortwright (Mary Astor), an acquaintance from their transatlantic trip, Sam realizes that he may find love again.
Director
William Wyler
Producer
Samuel Goldwyn
Distributor
United Artists
Production Co
Samuel Goldwyn Company
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Sep 23, 1936, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 10, 2020
Runtime
1h 41m
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