6.1/10
1,369
34 user 25 critic

Arrowsmith (1931)

Approved | | Drama | 26 December 1931 (USA)
A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Sinclair Lewis (based upon the novel by), Sidney Howard (adapted for the screen by)
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
The Champ I (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Louisiana con man enters his steamboat into a winner-take-all race with a rival while trying to find a witness to free his nephew, about to be hanged for murder.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Anne Shirley, Irvin S. Cobb
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Judge Priest (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
Pilgrimage (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A possessive mother pushes her son into World War I service rather than see him get married.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henrietta Crosman, Heather Angel, Norman Foster
Bad Girl (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

George and Catherine Apley of Boston lead a proper life in the proper social circle, as did the Apleys before them. When grown daughter Eleanor falls in love with Howard (from New York!), ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Ronald Colman, Vanessa Brown, Richard Haydn
The Hurricane (1937)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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

Director: John Ford
Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Mary Astor
The Big House (1930)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing
Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone
The Informer (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ronald Colman ... Dr. Martin Arrowsmith
Helen Hayes ... Leora Tozer Arrowsmith
Richard Bennett ... Gustav Sondelius
A.E. Anson A.E. Anson ... Professor Max Gottlieb
Clarence Brooks Clarence Brooks ... Dr. Oliver Marchand
Alec B. Francis ... Twyford (as Alec Francis)
Claude King ... Dr. Tubbs
Bert Roach ... Bert Tozer
Myrna Loy ... Mrs. Joyce Lanyon
Russell Hopton ... Terry Wickett
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:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Swedish

Release Date:

26 December 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El doctor Arrowsmith See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director John Ford and producer Samuel Goldwyn would work together again some six years later on "The Hurricane". See more »

Goofs

When Arrowsmith's first patient in Dakota calls and says his little girl is sick and to come right away, Arrowsmith says he will, and takes off without getting the address. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Martin Arrowsmith: You've got to get used to hearing my ideas.
Leora Arrowsmith: Oh! I'm gonna hear a lot of them?
Dr. Martin Arrowsmith: You're going to marry me.
Leora Arrowsmith: You don't tell me.
Dr. Martin Arrowsmith: I certainly do.
Leora Arrowsmith: Now, you know, I shouldn't wonder if you're right. Of course, it's a little early in the game to be dead sure, but I shouldn't wonder.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The story of a man who dedicated his life to service and his heart to the love of one woman. See more »

Alternate Versions

Myrna Loy's role was substantially reduced when the film was reissued because the Production Code had taken effect. The missing scenes have been restored on the DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Ronald Colman (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding Dance
(uncredited)
Music by Paul Lincke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Heroes of health"
27 January 2009 | by Steffi_PSee all my reviews

Even though only around a third of John Ford's pictures are westerns, it's still undeniable that his forte or, if you prefer, his comfort zone was in historical pictures of some sort. Arrowsmith is unusual in that it is a contemporary drama that Ford both directed and co-produced.

In spite of the above, you might think this was indeed a western from the opening scene, in which we see an ancestor of the protagonist as a good ol' covered wagon pioneer. This bit of family history is not brought up again, but it was obviously judged by Ford and Sam Goldwyn to be significant enough to open the film with, even though it would have been one of the most expensive scenes of the shoot (unless that opening shot is lifted from somewhere else, which it may well be). The point seems to be to draw a line between the struggles of the pioneers and the main story of a medical scientist torn between his home life and his career. It seems a rather tenuous comparison.

On the other hand, there could be parallels between Dr Arrowsmith and a typical Fordian westerner. Not in the character as written – I'm no auteur theorist – but in the way Ford shoots their environments. In the majority of Ford films he exaggerates the smallness of interiors and the vastness of exteriors. The homestead is safe, yet dull, and the great outdoors is exciting yet dangerous. The village where Arrowsmith practices as a country doctor is shot in much the same way as Ford would a western settlement – cramped interiors, foreground clutter and heavy use of framing. However the medical research centre, while it may be another interior, is shot so as to show off its openness and stark cleanliness, with corridors and waiting rooms so vast they look almost surreal. This is Arrowsmith's "wild west", where he is free to be a pioneer of another sort. Another tenuous comparison? Maybe, but remember directors have many choices of how to shoot a place, regardless of the script or the set design, and these choices will reflect how they view that space and what they feel it means to the story.

While Ford's use of space developed incredibly early on, the camera movement at this stage is not yet of the "invisible camera" technique that later became his standard. For those that don't know, invisible camera means you only move the camera when it's following an action, say for example a character walking to the other end of the room. If everyone in the scene is sitting still, the camera sits still. If it's done properly the audience doesn't notice the camera movement, hence "invisible camera". And yet here there is rather a lot of obtrusive camera movement. This is pretty much in line with the general style of the time, in spite of the myth that cameras were immobilised in the early sound era. Despite a few teething problems that were mostly solved by the end of 1929, cameras of the early talkies zipped around just as giddily of those of the late silents.

Ford is not known to have given his actors much coaching, nor allow them rehearsals or repeated takes to hone their performance. For this reason the acting in his pictures tends to be only as good as the raw talent of the performers. Ronald Coleman and Helen Hayes were both good dramatic actors, and here they give good – but not outstanding – dramatic performances. Richard Bennett however just gives a fairly standard, slightly comical supporting-player performance as Sondelius, and the part should either have been cast differently or he should have been prompted to play it with more conviction.

The story goes that the hard-drinking Ford was contracted by Goldwyn to remain teetotal until the production wrapped. Apparently Ford, eager to get back to the bottle, rushed the shooting even more than usual, tearing pages out of the script wherever he could get away with it. Whether this is true or just another bit of Ford mythology, it certainly makes sense. In particular the love story, crucial to the picture's impact, is massively underdeveloped. Downplaying the romantic angle is actually very typical of Ford, but even the usual Fordian semi-improvised comedy diversions are absent – with the exception of a couple of nice gags in a scene where a boy has his tooth pulled, and an almost surreal moment where a comedy drunk inexplicably wanders on and off the set. The resultant picture is full of great moments, but overall seems a little undernourished. Arrowsmith could have been an intense and poignant drama, but Ford was the wrong man for the job.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed