8.1/10
7,234
82 user 22 critic

Dodsworth (1936)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 23 September 1936 (USA)
A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Sinclair Lewis (novel), Sidney Howard (dramatisation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Jezebel (1938)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Dead End (1937)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The lives of a young man and woman, an infamous gangster and a group of street kids converge one day in a volatile New York City slum.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart
Camille (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore
These Three (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveller the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven
The Heiress (1949)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright
The Westerner (1940)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport
Glamour (1934)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A married chorus girl falls in love with a composer.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Paul Lukas, Constance Cummings, Phillip Reed
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A peanut and candy butcher on an Albany night boat dreams of owning his own boat.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Slim Summerville, Zasu Pitts, Una Merkel
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Walter Huston ... Sam Dodsworth
Ruth Chatterton ... Fran Dodsworth
Paul Lukas ... Arnold Iselin
Mary Astor ... Edith Cortright
David Niven ... Captain Lockert
Gregory Gaye ... Kurt Von Obersdorf
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Baroness Von Obersdorf (as Mme. Maria Ouspenskaya)
Odette Myrtil ... Renée de Penable
Spring Byington ... Matey Pearson
Harlan Briggs ... Tubby Pearson
Kathryn Marlowe Kathryn Marlowe ... Emily Dodsworth McKee
John Payne ... Harry McKee (as John Howard Payne)
Edit

Storyline

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 <sonya_roberts@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Italian

Release Date:

23 September 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zeit der Liebe, Zeit des Abschieds See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

William Wyler and Ruth Chatterton fought bitterly almost daily on the interpretation of Fran. Chatterton felt she should be played entirely as a villainess, whereas Wyler found reasons to sympathize with the character. According to Mary Astor, the tension was increased by Chatterton's own desperation at her advancing age. At 43 she was far from an old woman but well past the age when actresses typically enjoyed continued audience appeal and their choice of roles. Once a big star on stage, and briefly one in films a few years earlier, her success was waning and, according to Wyler, she exhibited very "haughty" behavior on the set. She was self-conscious about her figure and her looks, insisting on daily facials to maintain a youthful glow. Her insecurities manifested themselves as hatred and fear toward Wyler and his multiple-take working method. At one point she reportedly slapped the director's face and locked herself in her dressing room. See more »

Goofs

The way Sam holds the pole when told he has a call from Vienna changes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Secretary: [offscreen] Mr. Dodsworth?
Sam Dodsworth: Yes.
Secretary: The men are ready.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1946 re-release, shown on the Turner Classic Movies channel, lists the end credits with a different order: Kathryn Marlowe is listed after Harlan Briggs, and John Payne is listed last, after Marlowe. See more »

Connections

Version of Producers' Showcase: Dodsworth (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Arranged by Alfred Newman
Played during the opening scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Show me an actor of Walter Huston's caliber working today.
14 November 2004 | by ecjones1951See all my reviews

"Dodsworth" has been on my short list of must-see films for decades, and I finally had my chance to see it last night. I'm still in awe. (Others have made cogent observations about the acting of the other principals in the cast, so I will confine my comments specifically to Walter Huston.) There are people who will complain that this film is "slow," that it is "boring," that "nothing ever happens in it." Too bad for them, because this is a master class in acting of the highest order.

It is difficult to pull off a film like "Dodsworth" without betraying its stage origins, but this one feels and moves like a movie, not a play. (Of course, its genesis is a lengthy Sinclair Lewis novel, but the contributions of the gifted Sidney Howard -- who adapted the novel for the stage and the screen -- cannot be overlooked.) Walter Huston, who also played Sam Dodsworth in the Broadway play, was that rarest of actors, equally adept at playing to the back row of the balcony and giving a quiet wink to another 20-foot-tall face on a movie screen.

Anyone can buff up and wield a sword or tumble from a parking garage after being shot eleven times. But it takes a truly gifted screen actor to make the mundane seem utterly real; to shade a line just so, to achieve perfect pitch with every gesture, every glance. Huston was just such an actor, who, if he is remembered at all today it as John Huston's father, or the "old guy" in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre." Too bad again, because Huston was one of the finest actors in the history of American movies. He was not a movie star, but he totally embodied every role he ever played, and never gave a poor performance.

The narrative of "Dodsworth" is mature, intelligently handled material. It is impeccably directed by William Wyler. No one has ever remade it, though remakes have been considered. There are directors working today who could handle "Dodsworth," but it really merits more sophisticated treatment than the extensive nudity and profusion of strong language that would inevitably be written into a new script. It's much better left alone, and it deserves a far larger audience than it has ever had in the 68 years since its release.


129 of 136 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 82 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed