Arrowsmith (1931)

Passed  |   |  Drama  |  26 December 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 993 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 23 critic

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.



(based upon the novel by), (adapted for the screen by)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »
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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


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


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




Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

26 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El doctor Arrowsmith  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When he hired John Ford to direct, producer Samuel Goldwyn insisted that Ford lay off the booze for the duration of the shoot. Ford complied with this request but shot the movie at an increased pace, eliminating scenes that he felt didn't add anything to the film. Helen Hayes was a little mystified when she discovered that some of her scenes weren't being shot. See more »


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, as though thrown by an off-screen hand. See more »


Dr. Martin Arrowsmith: God give me clear eyes and freedom from haste. God give me anger against all pretense. God keep me looking for my own mistakes. God keep me at it till my results are proven. God give me strength not to trust to God.
See more »


Referenced in That's Black Entertainment (1990) See more »


Wedding Dance
Music by Paul Lincke
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User Reviews

This tragic tale is worth seeing
1 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am nearing 30 years old and just now beginning to appreciate old films. I absolutely loved Arrowsmith, cried through many scenes. I thought it was terribly romantic and tragic. I really liked the scene where he sees her scrubbing the floor and asks her out on a date. Then on the date he tells her that she is going to marry him and she pretends that she took him seriously (but seemed to be in shock that he was completely serious). Then throughout their married life it seems like one try after another with his career and then finally he decides to go back into scientific work with his old friend and mentor. Dr. Arrowsmith becomes so engrossed in his studies that he often neglects his wife, who is lonely and alone at home waiting for him. The ending, though tragic, is touching because of the last line that he says. It proves that he really deeply loved his wife...but you'll have to see this one to find out! It will be worth it to all you sappy romantics like me.

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