(out of 5)

Most of William Wyler’s films of the thirties and forties are at the top of their class, and this excellent adaptation of the play by Sidney Howard (originally from the novel by Sinclair Lewis) is no exception. gives a career-defining performance as an aging auto industrialist who sells his company in order to retire. He and his social-climbing wife () are intending to sail around the world, she especially looking forward to practising her worldly charms on more than just the tiny town they’ve been living in for so long. While overseas, Huston learns to enjoy his cultural exposure while his wife learns to enjoy pretending to be single again, mostly with a long line of fortune-hunting cads. He, on the other hand, strikes up a genuine friendship with a classy divorcee () living in Italy. The acting is absolutely superb, even by today’s less-mannered standards, and the dialogue is so incredibly well-written and modern that it hasn’t lost any of its power. This film is surprisingly alive after so many years and there’s just no rational explanation for it.

USA, 1936

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Award
Best Art Direction (Richard Day)

Best Actor (Walter Huston as “Sam Dodsworth”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Maria Ouspenskaya as “Baroness von Obersdorf”)
Best Directing (William Wyler)
Outstanding Production (Samuel Goldwyn Productions)
Best Sound Recording (United Artists Studio Sound Department, Thomas T. Moulton, sound director)
Best Writing (Screenplay) (Sidney Howard)

New York Film Critics Award
Best Actor (Walter Huston)

Best Film
Best Actress (Ruth Chatterton)
Best Director (William Wyler)



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