Lust For Life

  • 1956
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

Lust for Life was optioned by MGM in 1947, but it took almost nine years before the studio finally filmed Irving Stone's immensely popular fictionalized biography of Vincent Van Gogh The Dutch painter (Douglas) leaves Holland to give religious instruction to coal miners in a Belgian province in 1878. Censured by his superiors in the church, he denounces...read more

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Lust for Life was optioned by MGM in 1947, but it took almost nine years before the studio finally filmed Irving Stone's immensely popular fictionalized biography of Vincent Van Gogh

The Dutch painter (Douglas) leaves Holland to give religious instruction to coal miners in a Belgian province in 1878. Censured by his superiors in the church, he denounces them as hypocrites, abandons his evangelical activities, and suffers an emotional and physical decline. Found living in

squalor by his art-dealer brother, Theo (Donald), Van Gogh is persuaded to return to Holland and recuperate, but his burgeoning interest in painting upsets the whole household, and his sister asks him to leave. In the Hague, Douglas sets up house with a prostitute (Brown) who becomes his model and

mistress. After the death of their father, Van Gogh joins Theo in Paris, and meets the great artists of the Impressionist movement, befriending Paul Gauguin (Quinn). Gauguin is nearly as eccentric as Van Gogh, but the Dutchman's volatile nature endangers his closest friendship yet and precipitates

another decline.

LUST FOR LIFE tells a tragic story, but the portrait of Van Gogh's uncompromised genius is also inspiring. Douglas gives an appropriately fiery star turn as Van Gogh, delivering some of the best work of his career. With typical dedication, Douglas even went so far as to take extensive painting

lessons for the role. Quinn, in a relatively small part, is also excellent as the moody Gauguin, who attempts to befriend his fellow genius. Director Vincente Minnelli also searched out surviving contemporaries of the great artist, visited locales when Van Gogh lived and worked, and managed to

film 200 of the painter's masterworks (located around the world) without subjecting them to the dangers of standard movie lighting.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Lust for Life was optioned by MGM in 1947, but it took almost nine years before the studio finally filmed Irving Stone's immensely popular fictionalized biography of Vincent Van Gogh The Dutch painter (Douglas) leaves Holland to give religious instruction… (more)

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