Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,450
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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.


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 (16) | Top Critics (3)

  • 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.

    Oct 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.

    Oct 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…
  • 'The old triangle stuff' with a new rigor of scrutiny, that's William Wyler on Sinclair Lewis

    Sep 27, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The smoothly flowing film packs an emotional wallop thanks largely to the endearingly sympathetic performance of the straightforward Walter Huston.

    Mar 21, 2008 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • In William Wyler's subtle, beautifully directed marital drama, Walter Huston gives a distinguished performance as an ultra-decent and honest all-American mogul; it's his phony wife, well-played by Ruth Chatterton, who's the Ugly American Abroad.

    Feb 22, 2008 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dodsworth

  • Aug 01, 2013
    Walter Huston is great in his interpretation of Dodsworth and how a good man eventually becomes undone.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2010
    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 Super Reviewer
  • Dec 21, 2009
    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 M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2008
    Great Movie! A timeless film with a great script and flawless acting. Walter Huston is the King! The acting style and shots in the film are way ahead of their time. It may get a higher rating with more viewings. Great flix! See It! UPDATE: I was right.It only got better with a second viewing. Great direction by Wyler, moving characters, and some of the most amazing quiet moments in film.
    cody f Super Reviewer

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