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The Moon and Sixpence (1942)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 27 October 1942 (USA)
Loosely inspired from Gauguin's life, the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbrocker who abandons his middle-classed life, his family, his duties to start painting, what he has... See full summary »




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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Doris Dudley ...
Capt. Nichols
Dirk Stroeve (as Steve Geray)


Loosely inspired from Gauguin's life, the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbrocker who abandons his middle-classed life, his family, his duties to start painting, what he has always wanted to do. He is from now on a awful human being, wholly devoted to his ideal: beauty. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Strange DREAMS - He had ideas he never told her about...He didn't dare!


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 October 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

W. Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence  »

Box Office


$401,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


(gold tint) (reels 6-10)| (Sepiatone) (reels 1-5)| (Technicolor) (some sequences) (last reel)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Albert Lewin had left his highly-paid job as an executive at MGM following the death of his mentor, Irving Thalberg. He set up this independent production of Somerset Maugham's novel but had only a small budget to work with; it was primarily to save money that Lewin also took on the writing and directing jobs on the film. Later, he returned to MGM, but with the proviso that he could occasionally take time off from his executive duties in order to direct his own films. See more »

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User Reviews

Dropping out
20 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

George Sanders goes Gaughin in this film based on the Somerset Maugham novel about a well respected man who decides to drop out of society and paint to his hearts delight. Leaving a wife and children behind in England he first moves to Paris where he is befriended by a kindly successful hack painter who in return is re payed with ridicule and cuckoldry. George Strickland's dream is to get to Tahiti though and be done with Western society. He eventually does but at great final cost.

Sanders is perfectly cast as the insensitive and coldly indifferent Strickland who really just wants to be left alone. He asks for nothing but exploits kindness to its fullest when forced upon him, especially by the artist Stroeve. In a leading man of the era's hand the role would more than likely have been diluted and suffered but with Sanders you get a bored condescension and disdainful inflection like no other.

Unfortunately the rest of Sixpence lags a good distance behind Sander's spot on performance. Director Albert Lewin employs very little scope and camera movement with little attention payed to set design and lighting. The sepia tint of the film washes out in some scenes and was more than likely employed by Lewin to display Strickland's magnum opus at the end but even this disappoints.

Herbert Marshall is dry and drab as the narrator and the rest of the cast flat and stiff. Combined they lack the life and conviction to be found in Sander's performance which might have even soared further had Lewin applied the expressionistic flourishes to be found in his The Picture of Dorian Gray a far more successful picture with a less secure actor.

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