7.4/10
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73 user 58 critic

Lust for Life (1956)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 15 September 1956 (USA)
The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh.

Directors:

, (co-director) (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (based on the novel by)
Reviews

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Vincent Van Gogh
... Paul Gauguin
... Theo Van Gogh
Pamela Brown ... Christine
... Dr. Gachet
... Roulin
... Anton Mauve
... Theodorus Van Gogh
... Anna Cornelia Van Gogh
Jill Bennett ... Willemien
... Dr. Peyron
... Dr. Bosman
... Colbert
... Kay
Toni Gerry ... Johanna
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Storyline

Vincent Van Gogh is the archetypical tortured artistic genius. His obsession with painting, combined with mental illness, propels him through an unhappy life full of failures and unrewarding relationships. He fails at being a preacher to coal miners. He fails in his relationships with women. He earns some respect among his fellow painters, especially Paul Gauguin, but he does not get along with them. He only manages to sell one painting in his lifetime. The one constant good in his life is his brother Theo, who is unwavering in his moral and financial support. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Magnificent in CinemaScope and Color See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 September 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vie passionnée de Vincent van Gogh  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound® encoding) (35 mm optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Ansco Color) (as Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The color process used for the film (Ansco Color, but labeled in the credits as Metrocolor) was unsuitable for long term color preservation. As a result, revival prints lost the extraordinary brightness and range of the movie's original images, and began to turn beet read. Happily, the original colors have now been properly restored in the DVD edition. See more »

Goofs

At Arles, when Paul Gaugin is explaining his philosophy, Vincent mistakes him for Theo saying "but Theo, err Paul ..." See more »

Quotes

Vincent Van Gogh: Please don't go. You don't know how alone feels!
Paul Gauguin: I know about loneliness! Only I don't whine about it!
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Soundtracks

Arlesiana
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Accurate Biopic
17 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

This film is a rarity, a biopic which is more accurate than the book it's based on. Irving Stone's book was a major best-seller which did much to make Vincent Van Gogh one of the ten most famous artists in history but it did have its inaccuracies, particularly when it depicted its protagonist in Paris with other great painters of the time. In the book, Gauguin, Lautrec, Cezanne and Rousseau come off as typical bohemians while Vincent was made much more of a leader than he was. Minelli doesn't give us a detailed look at any of the artists except Gauguin but he is more accurate about who influenced Van Gogh and he does include his best friend, the now-forgotten Emile Bernard, if only as an extra in Tanguy's shop.

When Lust for Life came out, several critics dismissed it as too lurid and melodramatic, but those adjectives are accurate in describing Van Gogh's life. Note that Kirk Douglas does not play his usual cool, fun-loving tough guy and actually uses his whole body in his acting. For once Hollywood outdid itself.


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