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 <email@example.com>
We're taught to "take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth." [Desiderata.] While most people allow maturation to occur naturally and be at peace with their physical evolvement, some do not.
Like Sinclair Lewis' heroine, people who doggedly resist change may end up disappointed and bitter. Such resistance is the basis for this perceptive adult drama on marital strife.
Ruth Chatterton is ideally cast, looking young while obviously no longer in her early thirties. Her frivolous banter provides a dramatic clash with Walter Hutson's aging hero.
While I find "Dodsworth" strangely depressing, it's a personal reaction, for this is a very well conceived and produced film, securely directed by William Wyler, and solidly scripted by Sidney Howard.
Mary Astor shows warmth as "the other woman" and Spring Byington offers an emotional balance to the proceedings. With excellent cinematography and art direction, "Dodsworth" remains a telling adult drama of the dangers which may transpire by not surrendering youthful matters to advancing years.
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