The Citadel (1938 film)

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The Citadel
Citadellobbycardjpg.jpg
Directed by King Vidor
Screenplay by Ian Dalrymple
Frank Wead
Elizabeth Hill
Based on The Citadel
1937 novel
by A. J. Cronin
Produced by Victor Saville
Starring Robert Donat
Rosalind Russell
Ralph Richardson
Rex Harrison
Cinematography Harry Stradling
Edited by Charles Frend
Music by Louis Levy
Charles Williams
Production
company
Distributed by Loew's Inc [1]
Release date
  • 3 November 1938 (1938-11-03)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$1,012,000
Box office$987,000 (Domestic earnings)
$1,611,000 (Foreign earnings)

The Citadel is a 1938 British drama film based on the 1937 novel of the same name by A. J. Cronin. The film was directed by King Vidor and produced by Victor Saville for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British at Denham Studios. [1] It stars Robert Donat and Rosalind Russell.

Contents

Plot

Dr. Andrew Manson (Robert Donat) is an idealistic newly qualified Scottish doctor dedicated to treating the Welsh miners suffering from tuberculosis in the Welsh mining village of Blaenely and is an apprentice to Dr. Page (Basil Gill). Initially, he has many lofty scientific goals, but meets local resistance in his research. After his laboratory and notes are destroyed by the miners, he moves to London, taking working class patients in impoverished conditions. There, his purpose erodes when a chance encounter with a medical school friend, Dr. Frederick Lawford (Rex Harrison) leads to his quiet seduction by an unethical medical establishment, treating rich hypochondriacs. Christine (Rosalind Russell), his wife tries to set him back on the original path. Dr. Philip Denny (Ralph Richardson), Manson's best friend and still working for improved working class health, dies at the hands of an incompetent, social-climbing surgeon.

Differences from other versions

The film is based on the novel, but departs from it in certain vital respects. In the original text, the character of Christine Manson is killed off in a road accident at the point when she and her husband have begun to address problems in their relationship. The incident involving the incompetent surgeon occurs, but it is a minor character who dies. Denny survives, and the understanding (not related in the book but implied) is that he and Manson went into practice together. [2] A 1982 BBC radio adaptation [3] of the novel stays closer to the original text.

Cast

Awards

The film was nominated for Oscars in four categories: Best Picture, Best Actor (Robert Donat), Directing, and Adapted Screenplay.

The film won the Best Picture Award from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review. It is a New York Times Critics' Pick and is also listed in The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made.

Legacy

A Hindi-language film, Tere Mere Sapne, based on the A.J. Cronin novel, was released in 1971.

In February 2020, the film was shown at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, as part of a retrospective dedicated to King Vidor's career. [4]

Related Research Articles

King Vidor American screenwriter and film director

King Wallis Vidor was an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter whose 67-year film-making career successfully spanned the silent and sound eras. His works are distinguished by a vivid, humane, and sympathetic depiction of contemporary social issues. Considered an auteur director, Vidor approached multiple genres and allowed the subject matter to determine the style, often pressing the limits of film-making conventions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rosalind Russell</span> American actress (1907–1976)

Catherine Rosalind Russell was an American actress, comedienne, screenwriter, and singer, known for her role as fast-talking newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson in the Howard Hawks screwball comedy His Girl Friday (1940), opposite Cary Grant, as well as for her portrayals of Mame Dennis in Auntie Mame (1958) and Rose in Gypsy (1962). A noted comedienne, she won all five Golden Globes for which she was nominated. Russell won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1953 for her portrayal of Ruth in the Broadway show Wonderful Town. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress four times during her career before being awarded a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1973.

A. J. Cronin Scottish novelist, 1896–1981

Archibald Joseph Cronin, known as A. J. Cronin, was a Scottish physician and novelist. His best-known novel is The Citadel (1937), about a Scottish doctor who serves in a Welsh mining village before achieving success in London, where he becomes disillusioned about the venality and incompetence of some doctors. Cronin knew both areas, as a medical inspector of mines and as a doctor in Harley Street. The book exposed unfairness and malpractice in British medicine and helped to inspire the National Health Service. The Stars Look Down, set in the North East of England, is another of his best-selling novels inspired by his work among miners. Both novels have been filmed, as have Hatter's Castle, The Keys of the Kingdom and The Green Years. His 1935 novella Country Doctor inspired a long-running BBC radio and TV series, Dr. Finlay's Casebook (1962–1971), set in the 1920s. There was a follow-up series in 1993–1996.

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References

  1. 1 2 The Citadel at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. Cronin, AJ.The Citadel, Gollancz 1938.
  3. "BBC Radio 4 - the Citadel".
  4. "Berlinale 2020: Retrospective "King Vidor"". Berlinale. Retrieved 28 February 2020.

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