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Arrowsmith is a 1931 American film directed by John Ford and starring Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes, Richard Bennett, and Myrna Loy. It was adapted from Sinclair Lewis's 1925 novel Arrowsmith by Sidney Howard, departing substantially from the book regarding Arrowsmith's womanizing and other key plot elements. The pre-Code film received four Oscar nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Writing, Adaptation (Howard), Best Cinematography (Ray June), and Best Art Direction (Richard Day).

Plot

An idealistic young medical student, Martin Arrowsmith, introduces himself assertively to Dr. Max Gottlieb, a noted bacteriologist. Though Gottlieb deems Arrowsmith not yet ready to study with him, he is impressed by the young man's determination and honest self-appraisal, and encourages him to take the standard course of study first. When Arrowsmith graduates, Gottlieb offers him a position as his research assistant, but the young man reluctantly turns him down, having fallen in love with a nurse, Leora. He would be unable to support her on a research assistant's meager salary. He marries, and the couple sets off for Leora's rural home town in South Dakota.