7.4/10
7,902
67 user 53 critic

Lust for Life (1956)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 15 September 1956 (USA)
The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (based on the novel by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.00 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Champion (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Arthur Kennedy, Marilyn Maxwell
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon
The Vikings (1958)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A slave and a Viking prince fight for the love of a captive princess.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tim Roth, Paul Rhys, Adrian Brine
Ulysses (1954)
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A movie adaptation of Homer's second epic, that talks about Ulysses' efforts to return to his home after the end of ten years of war.

Director: Mario Camerini
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Silvana Mangano, Anthony Quinn
Van Gogh (1991)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The final sixty-seven days of Van Gogh's life is examined.

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Jacques Dutronc, Alexandra London, Bernard Le Coq
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A fiercely independent cowboy arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to then escape with an old friend who has been sentenced to the penitentiary.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Walter Matthau
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young trumpeter enjoys highs (musical success, fame, and fortune) and lows (sour marriage, death of his mentor, bout with alcoholism).

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix
Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming
Spartacus (1960)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Pamela Brown ...
Christine
...
...
Roulin
...
Anton Mauve
...
...
Jill Bennett ...
Willemien
...
...
Dr. Bosman
...
Colbert
Jeanette Sterke ...
Kay
Toni Gerry ...
Johanna
Edit

Storyline

Vincent Van Gogh is the archetypical tortured artistic genius. His obsession with painting, combined with mental illness, propels him through an unhappy life full of failures and unrewarding relationships. He fails at being a preacher to coal miners. He fails in his relationships with women. He earns some respect among his fellow painters, especially Paul Gauguin, but he does not get along with them. He only manages to sell one painting in his lifetime. The one constant good in his life is his brother Theo, who is unwavering in his moral and financial support. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Magnificent in CinemaScope and Color See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 September 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vie passionnée de Vincent van Gogh  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound® encoding) (35 mm optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though many sources claim that Anthony Quinn won his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for appearing a short 8 minutes in the movie, his performance actually lasts 22 minutes and 40 seconds. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow falls across Ducrucq as Van Gogh finds him dead. See more »

Quotes

Vincent Van Gogh: I tried to show a place where a man can ruin himself, go mad... commit a crime.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Polka des poulettes
(uncredited)
Music by Aman Comès
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Painstakingly perfect
2 August 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I have always liked this movie--despite not being a great fan of Van Gogh's work. However, I recently came to absolutely love this film and can really appreciate the artistry of the producers and director--they OBVIOUSLY really cared about the story and did so much to replicate the life of Van Gogh.

Let me explain. I teach a psychology class and part of the class involves discussing famous people with mental illnesses. Considering I teach at an arts school, it seemed natural to show and discuss Lust for Life. In addition, I picked up perhaps the definitive book on the paintings of Van Gogh. As we watched the film, I flipped through the massive book and was shocked how accurately everything was portrayed in the film. The locations, scenery and characters were absolutely dead on in every respect. In particular, all the little bit characters in the film looked almost like clones of the paintings of these actual people Van Gogh knew. For example, the sailor friend, his doctor in the mental hospital, the artist Pisarro and MANY others were just about carbon copies.

In addition, the myth of Van Gogh was avoided in the film. Unlike the common story, Van Gogh did NOT cut off his ear and give it to a prostitute. The exact nature of the event is a little confusing, but no reputable historian would tell the often repeated story about the prostitute! It was likely a suicide attempt and only a portion of the ear was torn off as he was slicing his throat--or, he did it as a histrionic reaction to a fight with his crazed friend, Gaughin.

The only MINOR short-coming is that in a couple places, Kirk Douglas' acting seems a little overboard. But, considering how his performance was OVERALL, this can easily be overlooked. Also, although Van Gogh cut off most of his ear as a result of a suicide attempt, the movie accidentally SWITCHES which ear was removed--look carefully and you'll see.


43 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?