After selling his Ohio auto-parts plant, Sam hopes to celebrate his retirement by taking his wife Fran on a romantic getaway to Europe. Instead, Sam and Fran begin to grow apart, realizing they want different things from life…
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A lovely surprise. I'd not heard of this before but it stands up (still) as one of Wyler's finest sweeping melodramas. The chemistry between Huston and Astor is enchanting, and not only is there crisis and tragedy but also a lot of humour.
"One of those rare monumental movies that strikes a tender, bittersweet chord with audiences by focusing on delicate or controversial subject matter far ahead of its time: here, the deterioration of a marriage contains timeless, resonant social commentary. It is a masterful examination of aging, differences in age, and a heavy-hitting reflection on infidelity, second chances, and preserving youth." - the Masie Twins
Much of the criticism of Ruth Chatterton is a double standard. Men can look as old as they want, but she was criticized both for wanting to look young, as well as being told she was to old to play the part. Same thing happened to Hedy Lamarr. It's still the same problem today where women are prized for being young and beautiful, and therefore have shorter careers than men.
Just one Oscar (Art Direction) for seven nominations. Europe seen as Hell or Paradise according to what you want from it. William Wyler, one of the best American directors of all time, manages to create a disenchanting and haunting atmosphere in Dodsworth. Highly recommended.
What a pleasant surprise this was. Yes, it's a depiction of the troubles of wealthy whites amid the Great Depression. And the dialogue is a dated. But the characters are three-dimensional and the plot hums along. Viewers can imagine the leads as actual people posing questions which aren't simple to answer. They are "Who am I?" And, "If I'm that person, is my husband/wife right for me?"
sweet ending, but what I saw was dodsworth going for a second round. Sure the wife took his care for hogwash, but what of her successor? purposefully hiding the phone call... was for him to be freed and of his own man, yet how much of her own interests came into play? Point is that I don't think the wife's actions originate from some inborn ostentation or narcissism; her early and long marriage shaped her greatly...
One of my all-time favorites. I'm amazed this movie ever got made, with its frankness about marriages falling apart, and ambivalence about "The American Dream." Edith Wharton's magnificent 1914 novel, "The Custom of the Country," satirizes the different approaches to life and marriage in America and on the Continent. It's so modern in its frank discussion of divorce that it feels contemporary to "Dodsworth."