Lust for Life (1956)

Approved   |    |  Biography, Drama


Lust for Life (1956) Poster

The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh.


7.4/10
9,538

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  • Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life (1956)
  • Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life (1956)
  • Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life (1956)
  • Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life (1956)
  • Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life (1956)
  • Kirk Douglas and Jill Bennett in Lust for Life (1956)

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17 February 2001 | phred22
An Accurate Biopic
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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