Lust for Life 1956

Lust for Life

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,270

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Movie Info

This lauded drama depicts the life of revered Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh (Kirk Douglas). An intense and imaginative artist, Van Gogh possesses undeniable talent, but he is plagued by mental problems and frustrations with failure. Supported by his brother, Theo (James Donald), the tormented Van Gogh eventually leaves Holland for France, where he meets volatile fellow painter Paul Gauguin (Anthony Quinn) and struggles to find greater inspiration.

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Critic Reviews for Lust for Life

All Critics (10) | Fresh (10)

Audience Reviews for Lust for Life

  • Jul 01, 2014
    Vincent Van Gogh struggles with mental illness on his path to becoming a renowned artist. Kirk Douglas could be a perfect Vincent Van Gogh, able to reach the emotional depths of the character and charismatic enough to be a believable tortured artist, but this film is poorly structured and statically directed. The film's structure doesn't give us a central conflict: what stands in Van Gogh's way? What is the nature of his mental illness, if that's what it is? What makes him a good artist but a malcontented person? Additionally, Vincente Minnelli's camera never moves. He sets the camera on a tripod in a studio with an obviously painted background behind the action. It's filmmaking stuck in the early days of Hollywood, and it doesn't give us the chance to see all that Douglas's performance could offer. Overall, there is a lot of potential in this film, but it's sadly unfulfilled.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2013
    Kirk Douglas' vision of Van Gogh is good but not great. We never get a full picture on what makes this man tick and the full sense of his mental illnesses or inspirations. At times it has the feel of a paint by numbers job. I blame the script rather than Douglas who is a tremendous actor.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2012
    Fantastic as classic movies get. Well acted, well scripted, shot vibrantly and as impressionable in memory as films go as van Gogh's paintings spinning a classic tale of human drama that is moving, meditative, endearing and fulfilling of the heart.
    Adriel L Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2011
    Pretty to look at? You betcha! Its about Dutch painter numero uno, duh. Informative? Are you kiddin'? Did you know a lot of famous artists hung out in Paris? Yep. So why's this fail to connect? Kirk is there, wringin' his hands every chance he gets. Quinn is there, and he's not happy about the hand wringin'. So wat happened? I think the subject matter spooked the makers ...
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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