Lust for Life


Action / Biography / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 81%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 8282


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April 29, 2016 at 03:34 PM



Kirk Douglas as Vincent Van Gogh
Anthony Quinn as Paul Gauguin
Marion Ross as Sister Clothilde
Henry Daniell as Theodorus Van Gogh
720p 1080p
882.36 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 0 / 7
1.84 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 0 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10

Too Sensitive For This World

Lust for Life, Irving Stone's biographical novel about the life of Vincent Van Gogh, stands as the centerpiece of Kirk Douglas's acting career. After growing that beard which makes Douglas look hauntingly like the troubled Van Gogh, Douglas crafts a brilliant portrayal of this way too sensitive man.

Vincent Van Gogh was a man who felt things more than most of the world's population. When we're introduced to him in the film, he's been rejected as an evangelical preacher. Van Gogh's father was a minister and Vincent feels the calling, but doesn't have the talent for preaching. He's given a backwater assignment in a forgotten coal mining area basically just to get rid of him.

He tackles it in earnest, even going down into the mines and working along side the miners who are his parishioners. That doesn't please the hoity toity church officials who rebuke him. A more tactful man might have sold the officials on a social gospel idea which was what Van Gogh was trying to articulate. But instead he explodes on them and the church gets rid of him.

It's the same with personal relationships. His intensity frightens off everyone of the opposite sex. And most of the male species as well. Only his patient and loving brother Theo, played here by James Donald, can deal with him for any length of time.

But somewhere in the vast universal scheme of things, Van Gogh was given a talent to paint. It's only on the canvas that he can articulate what he feels around him. And of course when he died he was as obscure as one can get. Now the value of his paintings could retire the American national debt.

Director Vincente Minnelli had previously directed Kirk Douglas to his second Oscar nomination in The Bad and the Beautiful in 1952. Sad to say that Douglas lost again in this third and final outing in the Oscar Derby. Personally I think he should have taken home the big prize for this one. The winner that year was Yul Brynner for The King and I. No actor better expresses rage on the screen than Kirk Douglas and this was a rage accompanying a descent to madness.

But Minnelli did get Anthony Quinn his second Oscar in the Supporting Actor category as fellow painter Paul Gauguin. They become housemates for a while and it seems as though Van Gogh has developed a decent relationship with another human being. But they came from different backgrounds and Gauguin brought an entirely different perspective to his art than Van Gogh did. What in 98% of relationships would have been a friendly disagreement becomes a bitter quarrel and Gauguin's leaving Van Gogh helps spiral him further into a breakdown.

Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, and the ever dependable, but seldom given enough credit James Donald cop all the acting honors here. Like John Huston's Moulin Rouge about Toulouse-Lautrec, Lust for a Life is a film that is so articulate that one can be art idiot and still appreciate the performances of the players.

Today Vincent Van Gogh probably would be on some psychiatric medicines like lithium and be a normal individual when on them. But would the world have the fruits of his artistic genius. An interesting question to ponder while watching this wonderful film.

Reviewed by Ben Burgraff (cariart) 10 / 10

Brilliant, Yet Painful Classic Offers Douglas' Finest Performance...

"Lust for Life", Vincente Minnelli's rich interpretation of Irving Stone's Vincent Van Gogh bio-novel, is a film both compelling and repelling; in delving into the psyche of the artist (unforgettably portrayed by Kirk Douglas), one can see an untrained, unbridled genius smashing convention to open viewers' eyes to a world defined by passion; yet in doing so, we share in the growing nightmares and agony of his creative mind, teetering toward the madness that would destroy him, and it is an unsettling experience, to be sure!

This is a film so rich in visual imagery (with a Technicolor 'palette' that attempts to recreate Van Gogh's view of his world), that it demands repeated viewings, just to savor the details. From wheat fields 'aflame' in color, to night skies that nearly writhe in waves of darkness, the elemental nature of the artist's vision is spectacularly captured. And in experiencing the world through his eyes, the loving, yet uncomprehending concern of his brother (James Donald), and more hedonistic, shallow patronizing, and gradual disgust of fellow artist Paul Gauguin (Anthony Quinn, in his Oscar-winning performance), become elemental 'barriers', as well. Van Gogh wants to 'speak', but no one can understand his 'language', not even the artist, himself!

Kirk Douglas never plunged as deeply into a portrayal as he did, in "Lust for Life", and the experience nearly crushed him, as he related in his autobiography, "Ragman's Son". His total immersion in the role SHOULD have won him an Oscar (Yul Brynner won, instead, for "The King and I"), and his bitterness and disappointment at the snub would haunt him, to this day. With the passage of time, his performance has only increased in luster and stature, and it certainly shows an actor at the top of his form!

"Lust for Life" is an unforgettable experience, not to be missed!

Reviewed by Righty-Sock ( 9 / 10

Passion for life

Kirk Douglas - with a powerful portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-90) the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, lost the Oscar to Yul Brynner ("The King and I") in 1956..

The film captured the artist's agony and everything in Van Gogh's pictures seems to be pulsating with life..Yet of the more than 800 oil paintings and 700 drawings which constitute his life's work, he sold only one in his lifetime..

"Lust for Life" begins in Brussels in 1878 where Van Gogh intent to do missionary work among the impoverished population of the Borinage, a coal-mining region in southwest Belgium.

There, he experienced the first great spiritual crisis of his life..He was sharing the life of the poor completely but in an impassioned moment gave away all his worldly goods and was thereupon dismissed by his 'superiors' for a too literal 'interpretation' of Christian teaching..

Penniless and with his faith destroyed, he sank into despair..

When his brother Theo (James Donald) arrives in Le Borinage, he finds him living in a little shack.. sleeping in the dirt and straw..Theo persuades him to return to Holland..

At home..he cut himself off from everyone, and began seriously to draw, thereby discovering his true vocation..Van Gogh decided that 'his mission' from then on would be to 'bring consolation' to humanity through 'art', and this realization of his creative powers restored his self-confidence..

A passionate man by nature, he needed 'love' and he wanted a 'home' and 'children'..He impulsively proposes it to his cousin Kay (Jeanette Sterke) - a widow with a son - who violently rejects him ( 'No..Never! Never!')

Late, in The Hague, he settled in after meeting with Christine (Pamela Brown) a prostitute who becomes his model and his housekeeper..He acquires technical proficiency confining himself almost entirely to drawings..

He visits his cousin Anton Mauve (Noel Purcell) - a Dutch landscape painter - who offered to teach him how to work with color and oil..

Van Gogh extended his technical knowledge and experimented oil paint in "In the Field", in "The Potato Eaters", in "The Loom", in a "Peasant Woman in a Red Bonnet"...

At Nuenen, after the death of his father and a discussion with his sister Willemien (Jill Bennett) he decided to leave to Paris..where he was introduced to the world of Impressionists like Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Monet..He joins his brother Theo and met Pissarro, Seurat and Gauguin..

Paul Gauguin (Anthony Quinn) opened his eyes to the latest developments in French painting..

In Paris, Van Gogh hoped to form a separate Impressionist group with Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and others whom he supposed to have similar aims..

He rented and decorated ' a yellow house ' in Arles and invited Gauguin with the intention of persuading him and found a working community of Impressionists..They worked together..each influenced the other to some extent but their relations rapidly deteriorated because they had opposing ideas and were temperamentally incompatible..

One night, after Gauguin leaves, Van Gogh broke under the strain and cut off part of his left ear..He was taken by Theo to a mental institution at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in order to be under medical supervision..

At Saint-Rémy he muted the violent colors and tried to make his painting calmer : "Self-Portrait with Pipe and Bandaged Ear", "La Berceuce", "Garden of the Asylum", "Cypresses", "Olive Trees"..etc...

Oppressed by homesickness - he painted souvenirs of Holland - and loneliness, he longed to see his brother Theo in Paris who invited him to see a pleasant homeopathic doctor-artist Gachet (Everett Sloanne) with a passion for arts..But this phase was short : Feeling dependence on Theo (now married and with a son) and his inability to succeed and in despair of ever overcoming his loneliness or of being cured, he shot himself after finishing his last painting : "The Wheatfield and the Crows" dying July 29, 1890 in 'a bright daylight..the sun flooding a light of pure gold'..

Anthony Quinn received his second Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor - after "Viva Zapata", 1952 - for his 'splendid' performance as Paul Gauguin.. The film presented him as slow and careful.. pipe smoking and unfeeling.. face to face with the 'nervous' Van Gogh.. ('If there's one thing I despise, that's emotion in painting..')

Vincente Minnelli mounted beautifully a faithful account of the life of a great painter and manages to convey his 'genius' and his personal 'agony'..

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