Monday, April 2, 2012

Dodsworth (1936).

Dodsworth(1936). Drama film directed by William Wyler. Sidney Howard based the screenplay on his 1934 stage adaptation of the 1929 novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis. Cast: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Mary Astor, David Niven, Baron Kurt Von Obersdorf, Spring Byington.

After Sam Dodsworth, a successful business man, sells his company he makes plans for a glamours European trip with his social climbing wife, Fran.

Sam, does not fit in with Fran's new friends and when she begins an affair, he heads for home. When her affair ends she decides to go back to her husband Sam, for a short time, until she begins another affair with a much younger man, Kurt von Obersdorf.

Sam, is traveling alone in Naples, when he runs into Edith Cortwright, who he first met on the voyage to Europe. Edith, invites Sam to lunch at her villa and then asks him to stay.

Kurt's mother, does not want her son to marry Fran, because of the age difference. Heartbroken, Fran returns to Sam, but just as they are about to sail for America, he realizes that he is in love with Edith and wants to go back to her.

The film Dodsworth, shows the emotionally sad ending of a marriage.. David Niven, does a wonderful job with one of his first performances. The costumes are absolutely beautiful in a film that you will not soon forget.

Ruth Chatterton (December 24, 1892 – November 24, 1961), moved to Hollywood with her husband Forbes in 1928 and with the help of Emil Jannings, was cast in her first film, Sins of the Fathers.

That same year she was signed to a contract by Paramount Pictures. This was followed by films: The Doctor's Secret (1929), The Dummy (1929) and Madame X (1929). She received her first nomination for Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the latter film.

The following year she received a second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her role in, Sarah and Son (1930).

She co-starred in the film, Dodsworth (1936), which is thought of as her best film.

Due to her age and the studios' focus on younger actress, she moved to England and continued to star in films there.

Chatterton's last film was, A Royal Divorce(1938).


  1. Such an emotional and adult film. One of Wyler's best - and he had more than his share.

    Thanks for the information on Chatterton.

  2. Dawn - "Dodsworth" is a real gem and an eye-opener for those who know Walter Huston primarily for "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" and "The Devil & Daniel Webster." Mary Astor is, as always, solid in a supporting role and Ruth Chatterton, a very mannered actress, works perfectly as Sam Dodsworth's vain, shallow wife. John Payne, who went on to bigger and better roles man and later moved to TV, made his film debut in "Dodsworth" as the son-in-law.

  3. Dawn, I saw DODSWORTH for the first time a few years ago. Like most films based on Sinclair Lewis's novels, it's perceptive portrait of American society at that time in history.

  4. Caftan Woman, Your welcome. I also did not know much about the actress Ruth Chatterton.

    The Lady Eve, I agree.. this was a great movie and a wonderful stepping stone film, for all the wonderful actors.

    Classic Film and TV Cafe, This was my first viewing of this film. I do ot know how I missed it..

  5. Dodsworth is drama at its best. I wish TCM showed it more often.

  6. So, even back then, Hollywood preferred "pretty actresses" over "experienced actresses." And they say the world is always changing...!?!? "Dodsworth" has always been my favorite Chatterton movie. She deserved to have a much better (longer) career.

  7. Martin Turnbull (the Garden of Allah novels), I agree.. Thank you for stopping by.


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