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Rembrandt (1936)

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 »

Director:

Alexander Korda

Writers:

Carl Zuckmayer (film play), June Head (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Laughton ... Rembrandt van Rijn
Gertrude Lawrence ... Geertje Dirx
Elsa Lanchester ... Hendrickje Stoffels
Edward Chapman ... Fabrizius
Walter Hudd ... Banning Cocq
Roger Livesey ... Beggar Saul
John Bryning John Bryning ... Titus
Sam Livesey ... Auctioneer
Herbert Lomas Herbert Lomas ... Gerrit van Rijn - Rembrandt's Father
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Doctor Tulp
John Clements John Clements ... Flinck
Raymond Huntley ... Ludwick
Abraham Sofaer ... Menasseh
Lawrence Hanray Lawrence Hanray ... Heertsbeeke
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HE KNEW WOMEN..as no man ever did...better than they knew themselves! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Büyük Ates-Rembrandt See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Wide Range Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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: What is success? A soldier can reckon his success in victories, a merchant in money. But my world is insubstantial. I live in a beautiful, blinding, swirling mist.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

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User Reviews

 
A Portrait Of A Genius - By A Genius
14 June 2003 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

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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