Citadel

The Citadel

Director: King Vidor

Cast: King Vidor, Robert Donat, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Richardson

     
 
Robert Donat stars as Dr. Andrew Manson in this adaptation of A.J. Cronin's best-selling novel. Manson devotes himself to treating the residents of a poverty-stricken Welsh mining community. Tuberculosis runs rampant in the village, and Manson is determined to help stem its tide and bring good health back to people who desperately need it. Through a series of

Overview

Robert Donat stars as Dr. Andrew Manson in this adaptation of A.J. Cronin's best-selling novel. Manson devotes himself to treating the residents of a poverty-stricken Welsh mining community. Tuberculosis runs rampant in the village, and Manson is determined to help stem its tide and bring good health back to people who desperately need it. Through a series of unforeseen circumstances, Manson eventually leaves the community and begins working out of London, where he looks after wealthy hypochondriacs who don't really need his services but are willing to pay from them. While Manson gains money and prestige, he has turned his back on his friends, his wife (Rosalind Russell), and the people who need him most in the process. To give the film a more realistic "English" atmosphere, MGM shot The Citadel at their British studios, although they did import an American director (King Vidor) and leading lady (Russell) for the occasion.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although made in 1938, The Citadel remains a powerful, haunting and rewarding drama. True, time has lessened its impact somewhat, as modern viewers have likely been exposed to other films that traffic in Citadel's general theme of the power of wealth to corrupt the spirit -- and even other films that also specifically deal with this theme as it applies to those in the field of medicine. Nevertheless, Citadel still seems fresh, and the care with which it has been made ensures that it retains a great deal of impact. Credit goes to any number of people, starting with the team of screenwriters who did a skillful job of adapting A.J. Cronin's novel; the screenplay is by necessity less complex than the novel, but it is highly effective and affecting. King Vidor also deserves applause for his sensitive yet powerful direction; Vidor examines humanity in both its glory and its shame, reveling in the former and expressing sadness and regret rather than condemnation for the latter. Finally, there's the expert cast, with Rex Harrison and Ralph Richardson turning in sterling support for stars Rosalind Russell and Robert Donat. Russell is surprisingly good, her "American-ness" not getting in the way as much as one might think; she delivers a finely nuanced performance that is a small gem. And Robert Donat delivers a carefully wrought performance that is a large treasure, calling upon all of his considerable talents and detailing a character whose changes are made true and easily believable. His climactic speech is everything one could wish for and more. Add in some lovely Harry Stradling camerawork, and the result is a fine, stirring classic.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2009
UPC:
0883316127094
Original Release:
1938
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:52:00
Sales rank:
28,608

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Donat Andrew Manson
Rosalind Russell Christine Manson
Ralph Richardson Dr.Denny
Rex Harrison Dr. Lawford
Emlyn Williams Owen
Francis L. Sullivan Ben Chenkin
Mary Clare Mrs. Orlando
Cecil Parker Charles Every
Nora Swinburne Mrs. Thornton
Athene Seyler Lady Raebank
Felix Aylmer Mr. Boon
Joyce Bland Nurse Sharp
Percy Parsons Mr. Stillman
Basil Gill Dr. Page
Joss Ambler Dr. A.H. Llewellyn
Angela Baddeley Actor
Joan Kemp-Welch Actor
Eliot Makeham Actor
Bernard Miles Miner
Leslie Phillips Actor
Charles Quartermaine Actor
Kynaston Reeves Doctor
Bombardier Billy Wells Actor
Josephine Wilson Actor
Haidee Wright Actor
Edward Chapman Joe Morgan
Jane Barrett Actor
Penelope Dudley-Ward Toppy LeRoy

Technical Credits
King Vidor Director
Ian Dalrymple Screenwriter
Charles Frend Editor
Elizabeth Hill Screenwriter
Alfred Junge Art Director
Louis Levy Score Composer
Lazare Meerson Art Director
Victor Saville Producer
Harry Stradling Cinematographer
Frank Wead Screenwriter
Emlyn Williams Screenwriter

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