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...
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Writer Georges Duroy (George Sanders) is one social-climbing S.O.B. who does most of his climbing over the warm (and cold) bodies of women. He begins with Rachel (Marie Wilson), a hanger-on... See full summary »
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
While the beginning of this film is a bit slow, with a few touches of humour sitting a bit uncomfortably, soon we are treated to a simple but effective treatment of this extraordinary story. As the Gauguin-like painter Charles Strickland, Sanders actually does a bit more than play his 'typical cad', but relishes his character's poking fun at a hypocritical society, and shows real passion in describing to the Maugham-like figure exactly WHY he leaves his ordinary London existence. We absolutely believe him when he insists "I HAVE to paint". Wisely, the director doesn't let us see any of Strickland's canvases, and we are only limited by our own imaginations as to how powerful they must be. The only exception comes at the end, and without spoiling anything, I believe that it's handled extremely well. Other performances are a delight, particularly in the entertaining vignettes of turn-of-the-century Tahitian life.
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