6.8/10
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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 »

Director:

Albert Lewin

Writers:

W. Somerset Maugham (novel), Albert Lewin
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Sanders ... Charles Strickland
Herbert Marshall ... Geoffrey Wolfe
Doris Dudley Doris Dudley ... Blanche Stroeve
Eric Blore ... Capt. Nichols
Albert Bassermann ... Dr. Coutras
Florence Bates ... Tiare Johnson
Steven Geray ... Dirk Stroeve (as Steve Geray)
Elena Verdugo ... Ata
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

"Women are strange little beasts - you can treat them like dogs, beat them till your arms ache and still they love you." says Charles Strickland See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

W. Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$401,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Herbert Marshall (I)' plays the writer Geoffrey Wolfe, a fictional alter ego of author W. Somerset Maugham. Marshall played Somerset Maugham in The Razor's Edge (1946), and appeared in several adaptations of Maugham's works, including The Painted Veil (1934) and both the 1929 and 1940 versions of The Letter (1940). See more »

Alternate Versions

There is a tinted and a color sequence toward the end of the film, both of which have recently been restored, but for many years this film was seen only in black-and-white. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dropping out
20 December 2011 | by st-shotSee 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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