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Lust for Life

Lust for Life DVD cover
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
George Cukor (uncredited - supervised one retake)
Produced by John Houseman
Written by Irving Stone (novel)
Norman Corwin
Starring Kirk Douglas
Anthony Quinn
James Donald
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Cinematography Russell Harlan
Editing by Adrienne Fazan
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) September 17, 1956 (U.S. release)
Running time 122 min.
Country United States
Language English

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 (who bore a surprising resemblance to Van Gogh), Anthony Quinn won an Oscar for his 23 minute, 40 second performance as Van Gogh's fast friend and rival Paul Gaugin[1], James Donald, Pamela Brown and Everett Sloane.



Kirk Douglas Van Gogh, whose obsessive devotion to his art engulfs, consumes, and finally destroys him. James Donald costars as Theo Van Gogh, who provides financial and moral support to his brother from the time Vincent leaves his Holland home in 1878 to his death in Auvers in 1890.[2]



The movie won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Anthony Quinn). It was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Kirk Douglas), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters, E. Preston Ames, Edwin B. Willis, F. Keogh Gleason) and Best Writing, Best Screenplay - Adapted(Norman Corwin).[3]

Companion short film

MGM produced a short film Van Gogh: Darkness Into Light, narrated by Dore Schary and showing the European locations used for the filming, to promote Lust for Life. In the film, a 75-year-old woman from Auvers-sur-Oise (not Jeanne Calment, who lived in Arles several hundred km to the south), who claims to have known Van Gogh when she was a young girl, meets star Kirk Douglas, and comments on how much he looks like the painter. This short promotional film is shown on Turner Classic Movies occasionally. At the start and ending of the film, the creators list and thank a number of galleries, collectors, and historians whom allowed the works of Van Gogh to be photographed for the film.


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