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Arrowsmith (film): Wikis


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Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Ford
Produced by Samuel Goldwyn
Written by Sidney Howard
Starring Ronald Colman
Helen Hayes
Richard Bennett
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Ray June
Editing by Hugh Bennett
Studio The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) December 26, 1931 (1931-12-26)
Running time 108 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Arrowsmith is a 1931 film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It was written by Sidney Howard from the Sinclair Lewis novel Arrowsmith, and directed by John Ford.



The film concerns a young medical researcher (Ronald Colman) who leaves his practice as a doctor in a small town to accept a position in an institute. Eager to help mankind, he goes to a Caribbean island to help the natives fight bubonic plague. His loving wife (Helen Hayes) goes with him, much against his wishes.

The film is largely faithful to the novel, but completely omits all mention of Arrowsmith's wealthy and self-centered second wife.

The film significantly avoids stereotypes in its portrayal of a central black character. Marchland, played by Clarence Brooks is a college graduate who speaks proper English and who does not stutter or demonstrate cowardice.[1]



The film was a financial and critical success, garnering four Oscar nominations.[2] Present-day critics, however, complain that the film does not age well, that the events in the titular character's life are rushed through, and as such does not do justice to the themes of the novel. It is often suggested that, at 40, Ronald Coleman was too old to play the idealistic young hero, and that Myrna Loy is not given enough screen time. Made during the early sound period, the film features static camerawork and minimal background music.


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