This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark, sardonic turn that offends his patrons. By 1656, he ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Edward Chapman ...
Walter Hudd ...
...
John Bryning ...
Sam Livesey ...
Auctioneer
Herbert Lomas ...
Allan Jeayes ...
John Clements ...
Raymond Huntley ...
Ludwick
...
Dr. Menasseh
Laurence Hanray ...
Heertsbeeke (as Lawrence Hanray)
Austin Trevor ...
Marquis de Grand-Coeur
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Storyline

This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark, sardonic turn that offends his patrons. By 1656, he is bankrupt but consoles himself with the company of pretty maid Hendrickje, whom he's unable to marry. Their relationship brings ostracism but also some measure of happiness. The final scenes find him in his last year, 1669, physically enfeebled but his spirit undimmed. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Beautiful Women...saints and sinners, tender and tempestuous...feeding the fires of his genius with reckless abandon! Eager to share his exciting life...his intense love...even the wrath of men who cried: "Shame!" See more »

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Biography | Drama

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Release Date:

25 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I zoi tou Rembrandt  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Livesey, the father of three other actor's in this movie Roger Livesey, Barry Livesey and Jack Livesey died the day after the release of this movie in London. See more »

Goofs

When Rembrandt reveals the newly completed painting, 'The Night Watch', we see not the full, original version that he in fact painted, but the drastically butchered version that was made over 40 years after his death, when the painting was moved from its original exhibition space in the Kloveniersdoelen to a less capacious display space in the Amsterdam Town Hall in 1715. See more »

Quotes

Rembrandt van Rijn: And of a sudden he knew that when one woman gives herself to you, you possess all women. Women of every age and race and kind, and more than that, the moon, the stars, all miracles and legends are yours. Brown-skinned girls who inflame your senses with their play, cool yellow-haired women who entice and escape you, gentle ones who serve you, slender ones who torment you, the mothers who bore and suckled you; all women whom God created out of the teeming fullness of the earth, are yours in the ...
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Connections

Featured in Dumb Dora Discovers Tobacco (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Potted Biopic with Terrific Acting

Artists speak through their paintings and, often, their lives are not that interesting. "Van Gogh" gave us a good screen character because that film maximally milked his neurotic excesses. Very recently, "The Girl With a Pearl Earring" concocted a fantasy vision of long ago Delft and framed without fear of contradiction by scholars the life of an artist, Vermeer, about whom very, very little is known.

In 1936, the great age of the Studio System, Alexander Korda produced and directed "Rembrandt," a sprawling and somewhat disjointed portrait (pun intended) of Rembrandt van Rijn. Charles Laughton alternates as a boisterous or then somewhat subdued Rembrandt. He loses his wife to illness and then takes up with a domestic, Geertje, played by Gertude Lawrence. Lawrence is fine as a woman who combines common sense with hectoring but who, in the process, sacrifice's the relationship's initial passion to hnadling daily burdens.

This Rembrandt has no idea that in the future his paintings will be quite desired by museums and thieves, including celluloid ones. He paints, he proclaims, what he sees and not what his patrons want. A huge painting of the Civic Guard is unveiled to shock and denunciations as, Goyaesque, the contributors to the fund for the painting see themselves savagely lampooned.

A new model, Hendrickje, charmingly acted by a beautiful and youthful Elsa Lanchester, steals Rembrandt's heart and body, leaving the long suffering Geertje out in the cold.

Rembrandt's relationship with Hendricktje is the most charming part of a film that blends unconvincingly connected scenes together. There's too much noise: Rembrandt paints, Rembrandt drinks (a lot), Rembrandt is hounded by creditors, Rembrandt runs back to dad. Laughton's acting carries the film and when he occupies center stage he is never less than attention-grabbing. But this isn't the Charles Laughton of "Mutiny on the Bounty," there a riveting character. Laughton's Rembrandt is a fellow one might care to sip smooth Holland gin with but he's no character with a deep soul inviting speculation and drawing the best from a great actor.

"Rembrandt" is a studio product well representative of its time. On that basis it merits enjoyable viewing.

8/10.


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