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Rembrandt (1936)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 25 December 1936 (USA)
This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark, sardonic turn that offends his patrons. By 1656, he ... See full summary »

Director:

Alexander Korda

Writers:

Carl Zuckmayer (film play), June Head (scenario)
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An 'essayistic' documentary in which Greenaway's fierce criticism of today's visual illiteracy is argued by means of a forensic search of Rembrandt's Nightwatch. Greenaway explains the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Laughton ... Rembrandt van Rijn
Gertrude Lawrence ... Geertje Dirx
Elsa Lanchester ... Hendrickje Stoffels
Edward Chapman ... Fabrizius
Walter Hudd ... Banning Cocq
Roger Livesey ... Beggar Saul
John Bryning John Bryning ... Titus
Sam Livesey ... Auctioneer
Herbert Lomas Herbert Lomas ... Gerrit van Rijn - Rembrandt's Father
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Doctor Tulp
John Clements John Clements ... Flinck
Raymond Huntley ... Ludwick
Abraham Sofaer ... Menasseh
Lawrence Hanray Lawrence Hanray ... Heertsbeeke
Austin Trevor ... Marquis de Grand Coeur
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Storyline

This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark, sardonic turn that offends his patrons. By 1656, he is bankrupt but consoles himself with the company of pretty maid Hendrickje, whom he's unable to marry. Their relationship brings ostracism but also some measure of happiness. The final scenes find him in his last year, 1669, physically enfeebled but his spirit undimmed. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Private Life and Loves of... See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Büyük Ates-Rembrandt See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Wide Range Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Livesey, the father of three other actor's in this movie Roger Livesey, Barry Livesey and Jack Livesey died the day after the release of this movie in London. See more »

Goofs

When Rembrandt reveals the newly completed painting, 'The Night Watch', we see not the full, original version that he in fact painted, but the drastically butchered version that was made over 40 years after his death, when the painting was moved from its original exhibition space in the Kloveniersdoelen to a less capacious display space in the Amsterdam Town Hall in 1715. See more »

Quotes

Rembrandt van Rijn: [to Hendrickje] You musn't be frightened if I look at you. I'm not looking at you as a... man looks. I'm a painter... painters have a different way of looking at things, you - you must imagine that I'm looking at you in the same way as the water with which you wash yourself or the air you move in or the light that shines on you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In the seventeenth century Holland was a world power, her ships carried treasure to Amsterdam from all parts of the earth. But her proudest glory was the son of a miller from Leyden, Rembrandt Van Rijn, the greatest painter that has ever lived. He died in obscurity, his belongings no more than a few shillings.

Today no millionaire is worth the money the works of Rembrandt would realise, if ever offered for sale. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Potted Biopic with Terrific Acting
11 March 2004 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

Artists speak through their paintings and, often, their lives are not that interesting. "Van Gogh" gave us a good screen character because that film maximally milked his neurotic excesses. Very recently, "The Girl With a Pearl Earring" concocted a fantasy vision of long ago Delft and framed without fear of contradiction by scholars the life of an artist, Vermeer, about whom very, very little is known.

In 1936, the great age of the Studio System, Alexander Korda produced and directed "Rembrandt," a sprawling and somewhat disjointed portrait (pun intended) of Rembrandt van Rijn. Charles Laughton alternates as a boisterous or then somewhat subdued Rembrandt. He loses his wife to illness and then takes up with a domestic, Geertje, played by Gertude Lawrence. Lawrence is fine as a woman who combines common sense with hectoring but who, in the process, sacrifice's the relationship's initial passion to hnadling daily burdens.

This Rembrandt has no idea that in the future his paintings will be quite desired by museums and thieves, including celluloid ones. He paints, he proclaims, what he sees and not what his patrons want. A huge painting of the Civic Guard is unveiled to shock and denunciations as, Goyaesque, the contributors to the fund for the painting see themselves savagely lampooned.

A new model, Hendrickje, charmingly acted by a beautiful and youthful Elsa Lanchester, steals Rembrandt's heart and body, leaving the long suffering Geertje out in the cold.

Rembrandt's relationship with Hendricktje is the most charming part of a film that blends unconvincingly connected scenes together. There's too much noise: Rembrandt paints, Rembrandt drinks (a lot), Rembrandt is hounded by creditors, Rembrandt runs back to dad. Laughton's acting carries the film and when he occupies center stage he is never less than attention-grabbing. But this isn't the Charles Laughton of "Mutiny on the Bounty," there a riveting character. Laughton's Rembrandt is a fellow one might care to sip smooth Holland gin with but he's no character with a deep soul inviting speculation and drawing the best from a great actor.

"Rembrandt" is a studio product well representative of its time. On that basis it merits enjoyable viewing.

8/10.


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