“Normal people do not create art.”
― Irving Stone,Lust for Life (the book)
Lust for Life Taglines:
THE MOST REVEALING LIFE-INSPIRED STORY EVER FILMED! (original print ad)
The best-seller comes to the screen…the drama of a man who lived with insatiable passion.
He had a lust for life. Sometimes he was brutal, sometimes delicate—always he lived with insatiable passion!
Over the years there have been many documentaries and several notable Films portraying Vincent Van Gogh.
I’d say this is a daunting challenge for any Actor, but at least 4 of my favorite Actors have made the attempt: Kirk Douglas (Lust for Life /1956), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate / 2018) Benedict Cumberbatch (Van Gogh: Painted with Words / 2010) and Tim Roth (Vincent and Theo/ 1990).
Strangely – though Van Gogh was Dutch, and I’m uncertain that he spoke any English at all? the most notable Film productions are by English speaking Actors: Kirk Douglas (American), Benedict Cumberbatch (English), Willem Dafoe (American) and Tim Roth (English).
These 4 have received Critical praise for their portrayals
and I have not seen any of these films!
I’m going to change that.
But from the outside let’s have a look.
Lust for Life / 1956
Amazing! Douglas was really able to look a lot like Van Gogh. And we know what he looked like from all his self portraits.
Unsure why Douglas tackled Van Gogh, but he was surely ‘all in’ on the project.
Likely he read the book.
Everybody liked this.
Nice work Kirk.
Best Actor – Kirk Douglas – Nominated
Actor in a Supporting Role – Anthony Quinn – Won
Best Screenplay – Adapted Norman Corwin – Nominated
Best Art Direction (Color) Art Direction: – Nominated
Set Decoration: – Nominated
Golden Globe Awards
Best Motion Picture – Drama – Nominated
Best Actor – Motion Picture Kirk Douglas – Won
Best Supporting Actor – Anthony Quinn – Nominated
Best Director – Vincente Minnelli – Nominated
Book and Movie available on Amazon and likely at your local Library.
WIKIPEDIA: Bronson was born Charles Dennis Buchinsky in Ehrenfeld in Cambria County in the coal region of the Allegheny Mountains north of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. During the McCarthy hearings, he changed his last name to Bronson, fearing that Buchinsky sounded “too Russian”; the name was taken from Bronson Avenue in Hollywood, where the famous gated entrance to Paramount Pictures is located.
He was one of fifteen children born to a Lithuanian (Lipka Tatar) immigrant father and a Lithuanian-American mother. His father, Walter Bunchinski, who later adjusted his surname to Buchinsky to sound more “American”, hailed from the town of Druskininkai. Bronson’s mother, Mary (née Valinsky), whose parents were from Lithuania, was born in the coal mining town of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. He learned to speak English when he was a teen, before that he spoke Russian and Lithuanian.
Bronson was the first member of his family to graduate from high school. As a young child, Bronson did not initially know how to speak English and only learned the language while in his teens. When Bronson was 10 years old, his father died. Young Charles went to work in the coal mines, first in the mining office and then in the mine itself. He earned $1 for each ton of coal that he mined. He worked in the mine until he entered military service during World War II. His family was so poor that, at one time, he reportedly had to wear his sister’s dress to school because of his lack of clothing.
In 1943, Bronson enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces and served as an aerial gunner in the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Squadron, and in 1945 as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress crewman with the 39th Bombardment Group based on Guam. He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received during his service.”
Lets face it, I’m not going to find any actor around who
can swing an axe – or a pick – with the likes of Bronson.
Gonna have to compromise a bit …