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Dodsworth Blu-ray Review

Dods

“Dodsworth” is a William Wyler classic.

Based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis, “Dodsworth” begins with one Samuel Dodsworth selling his motor company and retiring. With a new life ahead of him, he hopes to find himself and explore the world more with his wife Fran. Fran in particular is wanting to get out of the small town life to live it up and remain youthful. While abroad, however, the two find themselves drifting apart as Fran begins to have eyes for other men. Is their marriage doomed or will they be able to reconcile?

Directed by William Wyler and written for the screen by Sidney Howard, 1936’s “Dodsworth” is a serious and mature film that doubles as a relationship drama and a story about finding yourself. While on the wordy side (which is likely due to the film also being adapted from Sidney Howard’s own stage play version), it’s a poignant story that you don’t see too much of in the old Hollywood days. More often than not, relationship movies involved romantic stories of couples having a happy ending, but that’s not the case here for Sam and Fran (I won’t say anymore). It feels like a refreshing change of pace from the norm even now.

The performances here really make “Dodsworth” so effective. Walter Huston (Sam) is the heart and soul of the film and he gives the character so much depth. You see the pain that he endures and how he tries to move past it. Ruth Chatterton (Fran) also shines here as a selfish wife who wants more out of life. Through her performance, you really see just how much her actions continue to put her down a bigger hole. Mary Astor also makes an impression here as the kind hearted Edith. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? From the opening shot, you can tell this newly restored print is something special. The B&W film looks better than it ever has.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Expect a nice clean 2.0 track.

The lone extra feature is a 1937 “Dodsworth” radio drama. 

 

April 4, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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