Best Movies by Farr
Lust for Life Poster
Released Runtime Category
1956 122 Drama
Director Language
Vincente Minnelli English
Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown

Lust for Life

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What's it About

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.

Why we love it

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.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"