John Ford (1931)

A Certificate


Our Score
John Ford wasn't, perhaps, the ideal director for the work of Sinclair Lewis. However, this sturdy adaptation of Lewis's novel benefits from a marvellous performance by Ronald Colman, starring as the idealistic doctor of the title who's seeking a cure for bubonic plague, the type of character who ever since has become a well-worn cliché. Colman brings a vivid, idealistic freshness to the part and single-handedly justifies this Samuel Goldwyn production. Helen Hayes suffers nobly as his wife, Leora, and a pre-stardom Myrna Loy excels as the bored society girl with whom Colman has a daring (for then) tropical fling. Critics agree that writer Sidney Howard jettisoned the novel's finer points, but nevertheless there's much here to enjoy and, despite its bleak ending, the film was a huge hit in its day.


An idealistic doctor forsakes his secure practice to care for plague victims in the West Indies. John Ford's medical drama based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis, starring Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes, Richard Bennett and Myrna Loy.

Cast & Crew

Dr Martin Arrowsmith Ronald Colman
Leora Helen Hayes
Professor Gottlieb A C Anson
Sondelius Richard Bennett (1)
Dr Tubbs Claude King
Mrs Tozer Beulah Bondi
Joyce Lanyon Myrna Loy
Terry Wickett Russell Hopton
Mr Tozer DeWitt Jennings
Henry Novak John Qualen
Mrs Novak Adele Watson
Sir Robert Fairland Lumsden Hare
Director John Ford
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: United Artists Corp. Ltd