|Genre: Romance, Drama, Marriage, Infidelity|
Plot: As DODSWORTH begins, the viewer's sympathies are with Fran Dodsworth rather than her slightly stodgy husband. However, this gradually changes. Franís main concern is holding on to her youth, while Sam tolerates her foibles because he really loves and trusts her. When he tires of Europe, Sam returns to Indiana. Disappointed that Fran is not with him, he believes she will soon follow. However, in a scene beautifully staged by director William Wyler, Sam ends up being wrong. Fran is with the suave Arnold Iselin (Paul Lukas) on the terrace of a villa. He makes her read a letter from Sam. Iselinís response is to set fire to the letter. As it burns, it is caught by a gust of wind. Followed by Wylerís camera, it swirls in the air before turning to ashes on the ground, along with Samís hopes.
DODSWORTH is a beautifully achieved work. Chatterton gives a fine performance; Mary Astor is splendid--with a wonderful moment of joy when she unexpectedly sees Sam again; and Walter Huston, reprising his stage role, is natural, subtle, and moving.
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