Lust for Life (film)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Lust for Life (1956) is a MGM (Metrocolor) biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin.

It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by John Houseman. The film stars Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh, James Donald as his brother Theo, Pamela Brown, Everett Sloane, and Anthony Quinn, who won an Oscar for his performance as Van Gogh's fast friend and rival Paul Gauguin.

Plot

Vincent van Gogh's obsessive devotion to his art engulfs, consumes, and finally destroys him. He fails at a religious career and then as a social activist in a coal mining town, returns home to his father's house where he is rejected by a woman he obsessively loves, takes up with a prostitute who leaves because he is too poor, and discovers painting, which he pursues while agonizing that his vision exceeds his ability to execute. His brother, Theo van Gogh, provides financial and moral support, while Vincent lives off and on with the critical Paul Gauguin. Vincent begins experiencing hallucinations and seizures and voluntarily commits himself to a mental institution. He signs himself out, and with Theo's help, returns to a rural area to paint, where he ultimately shoots himself in despair of never being able to put what he sees on canvas.

Cast

About the depiction of van Gogh's art

In relation to van Gogh's art in Lust for Life, two hundred enlarged colour photos were used representing Vincent’s completed canvases; these were in addition to copies that were executed by an American art teacher, Robert Parker. In preparation for the film, Kirk Douglas practiced painting crows so that he could reasonably imitate van Gogh at work.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lust for Life (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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