Loosely inspired by Gauguin's life, the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbrocker who abandons his middle-class life, his family, and his duties to start painting, as he has ...
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Loosely inspired by Gauguin's life, the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbrocker who abandons his middle-class life, his family, and his duties to start painting, as he has always wanted to do. He is from then on a awful human being, wholly devoted to his ideal: beauty.Written by
"Neither the skill of his brush nor the beauty of his canvas could hide the ugliness of his life."
Fair adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's novel, loosely based on the story of artist Paul Gauguin, concerns a 40-year-old stockbroker in London, anti-social and misogynistic, who leaves his wife and children for life as a painter in Paris; soon, he's ruined more lives, and just as swiftly moved on to Tahiti, brushes and canvas intact. For an episodic tale of an inscrutable artist who destroys everyone he touches, this literate, well-cast and well-made film starts out in a surprisingly light key. Herbert Marshall is the curious writer (and the film's narrator) who befriends the maddeningly aloof George Sanders, and the first half of the picture is quite strong. However, once the action turns to the islands (with handsomely tinted black-and-white photography), interest in the central character wanes. The finale isn't as gripping as it should have been, though this is no reflection on Sanders or Marshall, both excellent. ** from ****
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