William Wyler's deserved reputation for turning literary stage works into top-notch movies (such as "The Little Foxes" and "The Heiress") was borne out early with the 1936 "Dodsworth," an adaptation from Sidney Howard's Broadway play based on the Sinclair Lewis novel.
Though a little dated at first by conventions of the era, "Dodsworth" quickly becomes a fluid, graceful film about a married couple in conflict. Its theme is serious and mature but never solemn. And scenes are typically dappled with light humor characteristic of the fabled "Wyler touch."
What's more, the movie provides the chance to watch the great Walter Huston (father of John and grandfather of Anjelica) in one of his most celebrated and expansive roles, a repeat of the performance that more or less crowned his Broadway career.
You'll also catch a gracious Mary Astor in her pre-"Maltese Falcon" days at the height of her beauty, not to mention her charm; the former Paramount star Ruth Chatterton in a one-note "comeback" performance that demonstrates why her career couldn't be revived; Maria Ouspenskaya in a chilling cameo, and the young David Niven in one of his earliest Hollywood roles as a gay blade.