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 ...
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On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles (Charles Laughton), who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a ... See full summary »
What do women want? Don Juan (Douglas Fairbanks) is aging. He's arrived secretly in Seville after a twenty-year absence. His wife Dolores (Benita Hume), with whom he hasn't lived in five ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was included in the first syndicated television presentation of a package of major studio feature films on USA television; it premiered in Baltimore Friday 6 August 1948 on WMAR (Channel 2), followed by Philadelphia Friday 13 August 1948 on WFIL (Channel 6), by Boston Sunday 22 August 1948 on WBZ (Channel 4), by Chicago Monday 30 August 1948 on WGN (Channel 9), by Los Angeles Tuesday 7 September 1948 on KTLA (Channel 5), by Cleveland Sunday 19 September 1948 on WEWS (Channel 5), by Salt Lake City Sunday 10 October 1948 on KDYL (Channel 4), by New York City Friday November 5, 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11), by Atlanta Wednesday 26 January 1949 on WSB (Channel 8) and by Dayton Monday 23 May 1949 on WHIO (Channel 13). The package consisted of 24 Alexander Korda productions originally released theatrically between 1933 and 1942. See more »
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 »
Rembrandt van Rijn:
You musn't be frightened if I look at you. I'm not looking at you as a... man looks. I'm a painter... painters have a different way of looking at things, you - you must imagine that I'm looking at you in the same way as the water with which you wash yourself or the air you move in or the light that shines on you.
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Opening credits prologue: In the seventeenth century Holland was a world power, her ships carried treasure to Amsterdam from all parts of the earth. But her proudest glory was the son of a miller from Leyden, Rembrandt Van Rijn, the greatest painter that has ever lived. He died in obscurity, his belongings no more than a few shillings.
Today no millionaire is worth the money the works of Rembrandt would realise, if ever offered for sale. See more »
REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669), overcomes personal tragedy & great sorrow to be revered as the world's greatest painter.
Sir Alexander Korda's production of the life of the celebrated artist is beautifully presented on screen. Chief among its assets - and the main reason for its success - is the magnificent performance by Charles Laughton. Eccentric & temperamental, Laughton could be difficult to work with. But once fascinated by a role he gave it the full vibrato of his own extensive genius - here he makes Rembrandt an equal member of his continuing roster of fascinating portraits from the decade: Henry VIII, Bligh, Quasimodo.
Laughton had the remarkable ability - like the English actor George Arliss, working in the American cinema - of using his physical ugliness to great advantage, his eyes in particular offering glimpses of his characters' souls. At various points throughout the film - a monologue of Woman's Mysteries; reading from The Scriptures - Laughton's beautiful, soothing voice reaches beyond the screen and down the years to caress the listener.
Making a rare screen appearance, stage legend Gertrude Lawrence plays Rembrandt's shrewish housekeeper & companion, Geertje Dirx. Laughton's wife, the luminous Elsa Lanchester, is unforgettable as Hendrickje Stoffels, the housemaid who wins her employer's love and becomes his greatest defender and champion.
The wonderful actor Roger Livesey, almost unrecognizable behind a bushy beard (but there's no disguising that unique voice) is memorable as the ragged beggar Rembrandt hires to model the Old Testament despot Saul; Livesey's scenes with Laughton are among the best in the entire film. John Bryning turns in a sensitive portrait as Rembrandt's son Titus. Sir John Clements has the small role as Govert Flinck (1615-1660), Rembrandt's disaffected apprentice and eventual rival. Movie mavens will recognize an uncredited Wilfred Hyde-White in a tiny cameo as an officer of the Amsterdam Civic Guard.
The film is given first rate production values, with marvelous interior sets & costumes. The exterior Amsterdam sets are visually striking, with the camera angles and the stark angularity of the buildings making them look almost expressionistic. These contrast nicely with the simplicity with which the brief outdoor rural scenes are depicted.
Some important dates in the life of Rembrandt:
15 July 1606 - born in Leiden, The Netherlands, to the local miller.
1620-21 - attends University of Leiden.
1631 - moves to Amsterdam.
1634 - marries wealthy Saskia van Uylenburgh.
1639 - purchases large Amsterdam house.
1641 - son Titus is born.
1642 - Saskia dies; Rembrandt paints 'The Shooting Company of Captain Franc Banning Cocq ('The Night Watch').'
1649 - hires Hendrickje Stoffels as housekeeper; she becomes his common-law wife.
1654 - Hendrickje, pregnant with daughter, is censured by church council for living in sin.
1656 - Rembrandt declared insolvent; house & goods auctioned to pay debts.
1663 - death of Hendrickje.
1668 - death of son Titus, aged 26.
4 October 1669 - dies in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt produced approximately 300 etchings, 600 paintings and 1,400 drawings.
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