Dodsworth (1936) - Rotten Tomatoes


Dodsworth (1936)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Dodsworth Photos

Movie Info

In this highly acclaimed adaptation of Sinclair Lewis's novel, Walter Huston plays Sam Dodsworth, a good-hearted, middle-aged man who runs an auto manufacturing firm. His wife Fran (Ruth Chatterton) is obsessed with the notion that she's growing old, and she eventually persuades Sam to sell his interest in the company and take her to Europe. He agrees for the sake of their marriage, but before long Fran has begun to think of herself as a cosmopolitan sophisticate and thinks of Sam as dull and unadventurous. Craving excitement, Fran begins spending her time with other men and eventually informs Sam that she's leaving him for a minor member of royalty. While in Italy, Sam runs into Edith Cortright (Mary Astor), an attractive widow whom he first met while sailing to Europe. Edith seems to understand Sam in a way his wife does not, and they fall in love. However, Sam impulsively breaks off their relationship, only to discover in her absence just how deeply he cares for her. Dodsworth was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Walter Huston), and Best Supporting Actress (Maria Ouspenskaya), though only art director Richard Day walked away with an Oscar.

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Walter Huston
as Sam Dodsworth
Ruth Chatterton
as Fran Dodsworth
Paul Lukas
as Arnold Iselin
Mary Astor
as Edith Cortright
David Niven
as Capt. Lockert
Gregory Gaye
as Kurt Von Obersdorf
Maria Ouspenskaya
as Baroness Von Obersdorf
Odette Myrtil
as Mme. Renee de Penable
Kathryn Marlowe
as Emily Howard
Spring Byington
as Matey Pearson
John Payne
as Harry Howard
Harlan Briggs
as Tubby Pearson
Beatrice Maude
as Mary the Maid
Gino Corrado
as American Express Clerk
Inez Palange
as Teresa, Edith's Housekeeper
Jack George
as Orchestra Leader
Fred Malatesta
as Ship's Waiter
Dale Van Sickel
as Guests in Ship Salon
John Barclay
as Guests in Ship Salon
Wilson Benge
as Steward
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Critic Reviews for Dodsworth

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4)

By far the most sensitive, restrained, and effective piece of direction Wyler ever turned in, the film achieves a measure of greatness through the dignity and depth of Huston's superb interpretation of the plainspoken Yankee.

October 16, 2007 | Full Review…

Huston is superb as the plainspoken Midwestern businessman whose blissful world falls apart. The film remains the most emotionally compelling of Wyler's career.

October 16, 2007 | Full Review…

The film version has done more than justice to Mr. Howard's play, converting a necessarily episodic tale, interrupted by fourteen curtains, into a smooth-flowing narrative of sustained interest, well-defined performance and good talk.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Dodsworth, under the direction of William Wyler, is one of the best pieces of cinema to come out of the 1930s...

November 9, 2020 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

The plot may sound like a soap opera, but the acting, script, and execution are absolutely perfect.

July 26, 2020 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

A remarkably mature movie, full of keen insights, savory dialogue ("Love has got to stop someplace short of suicide"), and intuitive performances.

April 9, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dodsworth

Walter Huston is great in his interpretation of Dodsworth and how a good man eventually becomes undone.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Drama fans may enjoy this, but I wasn't into it. It was boring, I didn't care about the characters, and the story didn't interest me either. Other than that, the movie itself isn't bad.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


What a great film. A forgotten film that I think everyone should see if they have not. Walter Huston is one of the great forgotten actors, and this performance was way ahead of its time. In 1936 for an actor to give such a real performance with such true emotion is amazing to watch on the screen.

Keith Munley
Keith Munley

Super Reviewer

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