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anyone else bored to death by "Dodsworth" (1936) ?


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I feel like I've been so negative in a lot of my posts lately, but please, I am looking to see that I am not alone on this one:

 

Osborne has raved numerous times about how much he loves Dodsworth (1936) and he really layed it on with a trowel before they showed it tonight. It's a popular pick with guest programmers, most movie books rave about it and it's going to be one of the Essentials in the coming year.

 

So why the hell can't I make it all the way through this thing?

 

Seriously , this was like my EIGHTH botched try at making it to the end (and believe me, I'm capable of appreciating all sorts of stuff, and it's NOT my youth, an attention deficit disorder issue or a need for rapid-fire dialogue, jumpy Matrix - style editing and people running in slo-motion from an atomic fireball that gets in the way.) I can't think of any other film I have tried to watch so many times, only to give up in the end. (I did see the ending out-of-sequence during a TCM showing a little while back.)

 

I like Wyler, I love Huston, I love Mary "One-Take" Astor, I enjoy Ruth Chatterton, I even find Ouspenskaya a compelling actress.

 

But this thing?

 

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Snoozeville, Baby.

 

Please, SOMEONE else out there tell me I am not the only one who feels this way.

 

Edited by: JonnyGeetar on Feb 25, 2011 10:19 AM

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It may not be the most compelling picture I ever saw but I like it. Good cast, as you say, but I like the story of woman fighting her age and a man trying to deal with the reality of his.

 

One of my favorite scenes is when David Niven gives Mrs. Dodsworth a first class chewing out. He rips her while still being so seemingly polite about it.

 

Sometimes it just boils down to a matter of taste of preference of something. Nothing wrong there.

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Sorry Jonny,

 

I really like *Dodsworth* and find it a wonderful film. The acting is terrific, the story compelling, the direction top notch.

 

As of late, you seem to be watching movies more with an eye for what doesn't work than just trying to enjoy them for the stories they are.

 

Walter Huston is heart-breaking in the story of a man who truly loves his wife despite her many faults. This story is usually told with the roles reversed and the loving wife being the sympathetic hero that we all root for.

 

*Dodsworth* turns the tables on that and Walter Huston is terrific as the husband who discovers that no matter how much he loves his wife, she loves herself more than she loves him and no matter how much he loves her, she will never love him enough to change.

 

The entire cast delivers and to say more would risk giving away too much.

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Sorry, Jonny, but you might not realize that when you first signed on to your cable company to receive TCM, one of the small lines in the contract said that you are required to like ?Dodsworth?, and you?re required to watch it each time it is on. I think it?s also part of the Code of Conduct rules too. It?s like the ?Ben Hur? and ?Bringing up Baby? rule requiring mandatory viewing.

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I like Bringing Up Baby !

 

But yeah, Dodsworth is in the top ten of the 'usual suspects' list, ain't it?

 

I don't think I'm being overly critical, there's nothing really wrong with it...I just find it incredibly boring as a whole. And I have no issue with long films ( Marie Antoinette is on now, loving it) or simple, little films about the decay of a marriage (love Penny Serenade love The Marrying Kind love Brief Encounter ) And there are plenty of films with things that "don't work" that I like just fine (heck, look at my namesake.)

 

I think maybe it's the Nancy Meyers principle on filmaking that applies to Dodsworth : "the mundane issues and "struggles" of fabulously rich people living amid a veritable Neiman Marcus catalogue of opulence are far more interesting than the mundane struggles of poor, middle class people."

 

In the end, I says there are problems in life, and then there are problems you wish you had.

 

Eight time I've tried. Seriously, eight times.

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I think I got all the way through ?Dodsworth? one time. Back around ?08, I think it was.

 

The first and second time I tried to watch it, I got about 15 minutes into it. The last several times I tried, I didn?t get that far.

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No. I've seen it many times and am never bored by it, though I find Ruth Chatterton irritating as hell and I always enjoy her comeuppance at the end! Love Mary Astor and Walter Huston in this.....I'm glad the many remakes in the works never made it to the screen............

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Sorry Johnny I am going to agree with the majority here. Dodsworth is a great film and should be remembered better today if just for Huston's wonderful natural performance.

 

The first time I heard about this movie was not because of TCM but someone on the Classic Film Board over at IMDB who said it was one of their favorite movies of the 30's. Because of that I was really looking forward to seeing it and it did not disappoint. Personally I am happy TCM is making it an essential because it is a real gem.

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> {quote:title=rosebette wrote:}{quote}

> I'd rather watch Dodsworth 10 times than Ben Hur even once. I think Wyler was at his best directing "small scale", where the major actions are shifts in interpresonal relationships.

 

 

Precisely how I feel about David Lean!

 

As for DODSWORTH, I'm most impressed by Huston. Otherwise, I find it rather dull. Nothing that a 60 minute run-time couldn't fix. The annoying Katharine Hepburn in the annoying BRINGING UP BABY has always been completely lost on me. Other than May Robson, that is. Finally, other than the great Rozsa score and the chariot race, I find the silent BEN-HUR, superior to Wyler's remake.

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I agree with you there. Even in the "big" pictures, Lean's best work is more about character than spectcle. I'm even actually rather partial to "Ryan's Daughter" (despite its excessive length) because of the exploration of the relationships between the characters. Some might disagree, but I think it's one of Robert Mitchum's finest performances.

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I like this one too. I like most Wyler films. It's sad, but not hopeless. Any frustration I feel while watching gives me an insight to the restlessness experienced by the characters. Sadly, they cut the scene with Maria Ouspenskaya running from an exploding fireball. That was probably a mistake. For really boring, there's Sinclair Lewis' MAIN STREET. The book. Talk about a bunch of spoiled rich people doing absolutely nothing!

 

Edited by: redriver on Mar 1, 2011 5:09 PM

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When you say "botched", does that mean you fall asleep during the film? Maybe you should try watching it while standing up, and jumping up and down every 5 minutes.. You may be surprised to find that you love the ending.

 

Edited by: finance on Mar 1, 2011 5:16 PM

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I had some trouble getting through my first viewing (I was 16 at the time), but over the years I've really learned to love this movie. A smart script enacted by a perfect cast, capped by my favorite breakup scene in film history.(And yes, I'm not forgetting CASABLANCA.) It's definitely worth a second look.

 

Edited by: phroso on Mar 1, 2011 5:14 PM

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> {quote:title=redriver wrote:}{quote} Sadly, they cut the scene with Maria Ouspenskaya running from an exploding fireball. That was probably a mistake.

 

Damn straight! That would have been the most incredible effin' thing ever, ever, ever !

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Agree wholeheartedly. Mitchum's schoolteacher is a tragic figure and admirable for forgiving his young wife's indiscretions. He always tried(Mitchum) to have an authentic accent in his films. This doesn't have much to do with DODSWORTH. but the contrast between the two men is notable. Wheras the protagonist in DODSWORTH sees a hopeful future at the end of his loveless marriage, the schoolteacher in RYAN'S DAUGHTER (as portrayed by Robert Michum) is resigned to a life of possible misery, now that the couple are forced to leave their village, probably forced to wander for a long time to come.Hope vs. Resignation. Attraction and love vs. possible resigned incompatability.Urban vs.Rural, New freedom vs. Social traditionalism. The two films are definite contrasts and prime examples of two great directors' skills.Best,BG.

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I also enjoy the movie Dodsworth very much and don't find it boring at all. But really why be glad there wasn't a remake? I just don't get that. How would a remake impact your joy of the original?

Of course it doesn't and thus why I don't understand where this joy would come from.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bored? You must be joking.

 

I was just lucky enough to catch most of it, and it was as well-acted, current, engaging and wonderful as the first time I saw it. Mr. Osborne is quite correct, it's one of the best movies ever made.

 

Boring. What a suggestion.

 

Fortunately, today is Walter Huston's birthday, and there are some nuggets of his I've never seen.

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Dodsworth the cat appeared in one Looney Tune, entitled "Kiddin' the Kitten." His voice sounded like Sheldon Leonard, and according to imdb, was actually supplied by the classic character actor sans credit.

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