Arrowsmith was directed by John Ford is enough to make the film of
interest to auterists, and there are Ford leitmotifs, particularly
self-sacrifice. Ford focused on heroic physicians several times, including
Warner Baxter fighting cholera at Fort Jefferson in The Prisoner of Shark
Island and Anne Bancroft fighting cholera in China in his last film,
Seven Women (and one might add Jack Warden's physician devotes to Polynesian
islanders in Donovan's Reef).
And the source material is interesting. In addition to winning a Pulitzer Prize (which Lewis refused), Arrowsmith was a major component of the Swedish Academy making Lewis the first American to win a Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1930 he accepted that honor). It has its satirical elements, but is primarily a tribute to medical research (by the son of a small-town physician). I read the novel in junior high (and in Minnesota), so am not going to make the usual "the book is better" claim. I know that the whole second marriage was lopped off, but since I did not remember the plague-combating, it seems very likely that the film did the Caribbean interlude better.
Theatrical Release: December 7th, 1931 - USA
DVD Review: MGM - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||MGM - Region 1- NTSC|
Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)|
|Subtitles||English, French, Spanish, None|
This image is a little inconsistent. At times it shows great sharpness and detail, but at other times can look quite hazy, show minor damage and appear over-contrasted. Generally I would say it is quite strong with some film grain peeking through. MGM is maintaining their precedent with yellow subtitles and no extra features. Surely a John Ford film would merit some!
Hard to say no to this price.