90 Days of Oscar Nominees #5 – Arrowsmith (1931)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 90 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 5 Dec 2017 and The 90th Annual Oscars on 4 Mar 2018.

Here is my 5th review of the 90 chosen Films…

“God give me clear eyes and freedom from haste. God give me anger against all pretense. God keep me looking for my own mistakes. God keep me at it till my results are proven. God give me strength not to trust to God.” – Dr. Martin Arrowsmith

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Dec 2017)

Brief Synopsis – An aspiring research scientist studies medicine with the hopes of one day being able to make daring new scientific discoveries.

My Take on it – I had never heard of this film beforehand and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Working in the field of scientific research myself, I was ale to relate to many of the aspects of the field dealt with in the film.

Ronald Colman and Helen Hayes have great chemistry here and it’s easy to understand what drives their relationship and see how they help one another along the way.

Some of the issues dealt with here from a scientific perspective are still ones that researchers need to grapple with even nearly 90 years after this film (and the novel its based on) came out.

They do a great job showing how the characters deal with the dilemmas they are faced with which in turn helps the viewer get a clear picture of what kind of obstacles they had to face in order to try and reach new scientific discoveries.

The one problem that I had with this film was the final third which goes off on a few tangents that don’t feel as imperative to the story as one would hope and that takes away from the momentum of the storyline.

Perhaps in the book, this is dealt with much better and is explained in a more succinct way.

Other than that, this film was very enjoyable to watch.

Bottom Line – Excellent film because it deals with such great issues that still plague researchers today after nearly 90 years.  Colman and Hayes are great together and we get a clear sense of what drives their relationship. The dilemmas that these characters face are explored in a very interesting way in order to make us understand everything that was being done at the time to further the fight against diseases. The last third of the story goes off on a slight tangent which isn’t truly necessary but perhaps is expanded in the book that this is based on. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The first American sound film to feature a black character (“Dr. Oliver Marchand” played by Clarence Brooks) with a university degree who speaks perfect English, does not shuffle, and does not act in the usual stereotypical manner in which blacks were depicted in Hollywood films at the time. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

2 thoughts on “90 Days of Oscar Nominees #5 – Arrowsmith (1931)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1932 |

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