A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There is no evidence that suggests that 'Wheatfield of Crows' was Van Gogh's final painting. Some suggest it's 'Tree Roots' or 'Daubigny's Garden'. See more »
While a strong wind lashes Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin in a Brittany vineyard, blowing over their easels and causing Gauguin to call it a "gale", the trees in the background are absolutely still. See more »
Commissioner De Smet:
You are now qualified for evangelical work, under the auspices of The Belgian Committee of the Messengers of the Faith. May the lord guide you, and sustain you in all your ways.
[gets up from the table and dismisses the five aspiring clergymen from the room, then looks unenthused at Vincent Van Gogh waiting in the hallway before closing the door and sitting back down]
Congratulations Dr. Gachet, a very creditable group of young men.
Commissioner De Smet:
Now about this other young man Dr. Gachet. Are you...
[...] See more »
Remarkable performance by bigger than life Kirk Douglas...
Not only does KIRK DOUGLAS bear a remarkable resemblance to the real Vincent Van Gogh, but he gives a deeply felt, bigger than life performance in the role of a lifetime, fully deserving his Academy Award nomination.
The letterbox version on TCM doesn't do justice to the film's brilliant color photography, deliberately muted for the early coal mining scenes but crisp and clear when it comes to Van Gogh's now famous paintings. I haven't seen the DVD version, but I hope it's considerably better than the print showing on cable.
At any rate, it's tremendously well done--the entire look of the production creating the sense of time and authentic atmosphere and actually filmed on the actual location sites with an impressive cast of villagers and supporting actors. PAMELA BROWN, NIALL MacGINNIS (as The Postman), and most of all, JAMES DONALD as brother Theo, who nurtures his brother and supports him financially but is unable to sell any of his paintings--except one.
It's a fine recreation of the Irving Stone novel and Douglas immerses himself in the character of Van Gogh, much the way ANTHONY QUINN does as Gauguin. Quinn's stormy, tempestuous relationship with Douglas provides some electric moments of conflict.
The score by Miklos Rozsa accents the drama at every turn, slashing at the drama the way Van Gogh slashed at his canvas with thick brush strokes. It's starkly dramatic without ever being overbearing.
Vincent Minnelli's direction is above reproach. A finer tribute to the tormented artist could not be imagined with so many of his canvases shown on screen in impressive close-ups.
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