- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Character Study of an Immoral artist
The Moon and Sixpence drew me in. George Sanders is perfectly cast as Charles Strickland, a man who abandons his family to pursue life as an artist. Strickland is selfish and doesn't care about the lives he ruins. But if Strickland does have a saving grace, it is his brutal honesty. He doesn't pretend to feel guilt about his terrible actions. The man had probably lived for years living a lie as a family man and business man, repressing is true nature until he couldn't take it anymore. He is man who has to paint, no matter what. It doesn't matter that he isn't a young man anymore or whether or not he is any good at painting. The man has to paint no matter what. When a woman leaves her husband for him, he tells her that he will eventually abandon her. He never leads her on or makes her any promises. His reaction to a later tragedy concerning her is cold blooded. But the audience has to admit that his logic is correct. The woman was troubled long before he became involved with her. Strickland is unfiltered and blunt. He says and does terrible things. He brings tragedy to people and has no regrets. But there is no pretensions in the man. We know that when he does show a tiny sliver of humanity, it is sincere. The Moon and Sixpence has good performances by Sanders and Herbert Marshall, who is the film's moral compass. Give The Moon and Sixpence a chance. If you like character studies, you might enjoy it and be drawn into the story like I was.
moon and sixpence
- kevin sellers
Re: Red Rain's previous review, in which he complained that there were not "any reviews" of this film other than his, when mine was right there in front of him, you may not agree with what I wrote, but you can't deny that at least one other person besides yourself bothered to comment on this movie. A little common courtesy, and all that sort of thing, Seor Rain. Re: RR's comment that Strickland lived in "abject poverty" once he became an artist, I would just point out that many artists would kill to enjoy such deprivation as Strickland suffered in Tahiti, complete with adoring maid/mistress and rather comfortable accommodations.
I'm completely taken aback by there not being any reviews for this exceptional film! Perhaps the idea of a man leaving his wife and family to live in abject poverty to seek his dream is a bit much for you? I hope not, as it happens more often than you know! As for the film, it is Herbert Marshall's finest acting role! I've always liked him but his voice was such a monotone that I grew tired of watching his films. This is one, however, where he manages to actually act and his voice changes to express the angst he feels. This film is a terrific story of a man seeking a dream and finding it despite all who never believed in him. There are also lessons to be learned re complacency between couples who believe life will always be like it is and they never believe their partner might want something better for himself/herself. I've always taken that lesson from the book; however, it wasn't until I viewed this film that it really hit home!
- kevin sellers
A not very satisfying adaptation of the famous Somerset Maugham novel about an artist who abandons wife and family for the paintbrush. There are several things I didn't particularly care about in this film. The biggest is the fact that the artist, Charles Strickland, (modeled on Gauguin) has no interest in other people. This causes the film to have zero conflict, because at no point is Strickland forced to choose between someone he loves and his art. Therefore, the film becomes just one instance after another of Strickland treating people like crap, so he can paint. Indeed, the guy is such a monster of egotism and thoughtlessness that you almost cheer when you find out, at the end, that he has contracted leprosy, a reaction that I'm sure director Albert Lewin was not going for. The other major problem is a streak of sexism and misogyny that runs throughout the entire film. Women are characterized as nags, enemies of artistic creation, and monsters of infidelity. The only woman viewed positively is Strickland's meek, submissive Tahitian wife slash housemaid. As for the performances, George Sanders certainly nails Strickland's selfishness, but he's much less convincing in the early stages of the film, when Strickland is described as an "ordinary stockbroker." George Sanders is many things on screen but "ordinary" is not one of them. Someone like Claude Raines or Alec Guiness would have been a better choice. Herbert Marshall, on the other hand, is perfect as a suave Somerset Maugham (which is, I'm sure, how the novelist wanted to be perceived.) Give it a C plus. P.S. The paintings substituted for Gauguin's works (family wouldn't allow the real ones to be shown) are eminently ordinary. Sure doesn't help to prove that Strickland is a "genius," as everyone in the film says he is.