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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 »




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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Doris Dudley ...
Capt. Nichols
Dr. Coutras
Dirk Stroeve (as Steve Geray)


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


"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 »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 October 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

W. Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence  »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


'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 »


Version of The Moon and Sixpence (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

His misanthropic best
1 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

Herbert Marshall plays W. Somerset Maugham in fact if not name in The Moon And Sixpence as he narrates the story of how his life intersected with that of George Sanders a man who left middle class respectability to do his thing with painting, first in Paris and then the South Seas. Marshall is his erudite best and Sanders once again is a cad.

When Marshall first knows Sanders he's the soul of Victorian rectitude, no one suspecting what is beneath the surface. So when one fine day he up and leaves his wife Molly Lamont to go live the Bohemian life as a painter in Paris it shocks everybody. In fact Lamont prevails on Marshall to go to Paris to see what brought this about.

Somerget Maugham's view on human relations and the creative soul are once again given an airing in The Moon And Sixpence. Maugham was a gay man, but there are certain gay men who truly do not like women on most levels. They make too many demands on the creative man, fascinated though they might be by him. That view is in full force when dealing with Lamont and with Doris Dudley who plays a married woman who leaves her husband Steven Geray to take up with Sanders in Paris. His ideal woman is Tahitian Elena Verdugo, pretty and sexy without too much education who takes care of man's physical needs with no demands.

Women were not Maugham's favorites. You can see that in work like Of Human Bondage with Mildred Rogers or in Rain with Sadie Thompson. And I can't forget The Razor's Edge and the part that Gene Tierney plays.

Sanders is a caddish as he ever has gotten on the big screen for the first two thirds of the film. But in Tahiti with no demands on him he becomes a mensch. For myself staying a mensch when life does make demands on you is the true test. But what do I know?

The Moon And Sixpence is Maugham at his misanthropic best. Sanders and Marshall top a fine cast in a film that could have been a real classic with a bigger budget from an A list studio. Herbert Marshall would be the narrator author W. Somerset Maugham again in The Razor's Edge which is a better film. This one in fact did get an Oscar nomination for Dimitri Tiomkin's musical scoring. The Moon And Sixpence can definitely hold its own.

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