6.2/10
1,011
31 user 24 critic

Arrowsmith (1931)

Passed | | Drama | 26 December 1931 (USA)
Based on Sinclair Lewis's novel "Arrowsmith". A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.

Director:

Writers:

(based upon the novel by), (adapted for the screen by)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Hurricane (1937)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Polynesian sailor -- unjustly imprisoned after defending himself against a colonial bully -- is relentlessly persecuted by his island's martinet French governor.

Directors: John Ford, Stuart Heisler
Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Mary Astor
Certificate: Passed Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during world war I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Claude Gillingwater
Bad Girl (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
Judge Priest (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Judge Priest, a proud Confederate veteran, uses common sense and considerable humanity to dispense justice in a small town in the Post-Bellum Kentucky.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Tom Brown, Anita Louise
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins
The Informer (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The recently widowed Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to reclaim her throne but is opposed by her half-brother and her own Scottish lords.

Directors: John Ford, Leslie Goodwins
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, Florence Eldridge
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An American ambulance driver and an English nurse fall in love in Italy during World War I.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, Adolphe Menjou
Condemned (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Ronald Colman, Ann Harding, Dudley Digges
The Fugitive (1947)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Anti--Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors: John Ford, Emilio Fernández
Stars: Henry Fonda, Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendáriz
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Richard Bennett ...
A.E. Anson ...
Clarence Brooks ...
...
Twyford (as Alec Francis)
Claude King ...
Bert Roach ...
...
Russell Hopton ...
David Landau ...
State Veterinarian
Lumsden Hare ...
Sir Robert Fairland - Governor
Edit

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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El doctor Arrowsmith  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last time that John Ford worked with producer Samuel Goldwyn. In later years, they did talk about collaborating again, but Ford ultimately didn't want to work with such a meddling producer again. See more »

Goofs

In the night scene outside the research building when Dr. Arrowsmith's wife catches up to him, the snow becomes very scant and then a whole clump of snow falls, which looks like a stage hand got behind on their snowfall duties then panicked. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Joyce Lanyon: Do I strike you as being so hopelessly useless?
Dr. Martin Arrowsmith: If I had a twin sister, I think she'd be rather like you. That's how you strike me.
Mrs. Joyce Lanyon: That's an original compliment.
Dr. Martin Arrowsmith: That's no compliment, it's a scientific fact.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Lost Horizon' (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

William Tell Overture
(1829) (uncredited)
Written by Gioachino Rossini
Played on piano from a recording
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Reasonably good acting, but Sinclair Lewis should have sued
29 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sinclair Lewis wrote ARROWSMITH in 1923, after the first two of his blockbuster novels that dissected American Society (MAIN STREET and BABBITT). Lewis decided to make a complete study about the medical profession. As such it was brilliant - far more brilliant than this movie is. If one can think of the novel as what it is - an expose about what is wrong concerning the medical profession - the novel is a glass of fine champagne, and this movie version is a glass of lemonade! Lewis takes us along the entire career of Martin Arrowsmith - through medical school, through practice in a small town, through his marriage to Leora Tozer, through his going to the big city (New York) where he is connected to a large, well-known Foundation, to his battling the plague (and losing his wife and his co-worker), and his finally coming to terms with what he wants from his profession. For the key to the novel is that medicine is extremely lucrative, but Martin is very idealistic. He does not seek riches, but wants to help his fellow man.

The problem, as the film proceeds, is that the people who run or control the profession (or society, for that matter) can care less for the idealistic goal. For one reason or another they want results that are pragmatic or banal. For example, one would think that the Foundation (a swipe at the Rockefeller Foundation, by the way) would be really gung ho about an idealistic medical researcher. They certainly have the laboratories and talent for real progress. But they also have a strong desire for immediate results that can be used for propaganda purposes. So they keep pushing aside certain desires for private testing that Arrowsmith and his mentor Max Gottlieb (A.E. Anson) are requesting on the bubonic plague serum. The director of the foundation insists that Arrowsmith goes to a plague saturated island with his co-discoverer, for immediate SUCCESSFUL results. This leads to massive tragedy in the novel and the film.

This doesn't come across too clearly in the film. Instead it looks like Martin (Colman) would like more time to test, but the emergency prevents it. This weakens the novel's criticism. And this is not the only example.

When Martin starts out in the small town, the local medical community has this idiot running it who knows squat about modern medicine, but is great at self-advertising. The man, who looks like Theodore Roosevelt, thinks that the height of local medical activity is running a "health day" parade. This too is not in the movie.

The film, in short, short-changes Lewis's wonderful novel. In fact, more of the spirit of Lewis's attack can be found in the Robert Donat - Rosalind Russell - Ralph Richardson film THE CITADEL (based on an A. J. Cronin expose novel). That's rough, considering how important the critique by Lewis really was.

The film's cast gives it their all, particularly Helen Hayes (still the young actress who won her first Oscar that same year for THE SIN OF MADELON CLAUDETTE), Myrna Loy (in a heavily cut role) and Colman. John Ford's directing was somewhat mediocre in this film, unlike later works of his. So I give it a "6" out of "10".


31 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Arrowsmith And House MD? gnrjr50
Myrna Loy npaxton-3
Discuss Arrowsmith (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?