This superb biopic about tortured 19th-century Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh (Douglas) chronicles the life of the artist from his early years as an evangelical missionary to Belgian miners to his days of squalid living with prostitute-model Christine (Brown), also focusing on the relationship between Vincent and his art-dealer brother, Theo (Donald). Through Theo, Vincent meets the great Impressionists of Paris, striking up a friendship with the eccentric Paul Gauguin (Quinn), until his volatile nature gives way to full-fledged madness.
Based on Irving Stone's popular book, Minnelli's beautiful, vibrant film tracks Van Gogh's tragic journey into obsessive madness with unusual perceptiveness and insight. Douglas's fiery performance is a career peak, but Oscar-winner Anthony Quinn nearly steals his thunder with a brief but indelible turn as Gauguin. Minnelli filmed on location in Holland and France; he even borrowed actual Van Gogh works to use in the production. The result is a compelling, inspiring drama about the hazy border between brilliance and insanity.