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The Moon and Sixpence (1942)

George Sanders , Herbert Marshall , Albert Lewin  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: George Sanders, Herbert Marshall, Doris Dudley, Eric Blore, Albert Bassermann
  • Directors: Albert Lewin
  • Writers: Albert Lewin, W. Somerset Maugham
  • Producers: David L. Loew, Stanley Kramer
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009PLLTK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,702 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Moon and Sixpence" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Loosely inspired from the life of French painter Paul Gauguin, Charles Strickland (Sanders), a middle-aged London stockbroker who abandons all responsibility to become an artist. Strickland pursues his dream to the extent of leaving his family, betraying his friends and associates, and living a life of unending hedonism in Tahiti. Undeniably brilliant as a painter, Strickland is also a good-for-nothing, until he is forced to confront himself on the threshold of death. Herbert Marshall plays Geoffrey Wolfe, who narrates the story as he attempts to make some sense of Strickland's creative ways.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE PAGAN LIFE OF GAUGUIN November 11, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
As a movie, THE MOON AND SIXPENCE is an interesting job. To soothe the Hays office, it legalised by marriage one of Gauguin's affairs, but in general, it sticks to the Maugham novel, using the great Herbert Marshall as a narrator to speak Maugham's words. George Sanders is remarkably convincing as the painter who scorns all human relations in his demonic desire to paint. He actually seems to justify Maugham's description: "The emotions common to most of us simply did not exist in him, and it was as absurd to blame him for not feeling them as for blaming the tiger because he is fierce...he was at once too great and too small for love. Outstanding among famous artists whose lives and loves have fascinated the world is the Frenchman Paul Gauguin. In 1919, a rising young author named W. Somerset Maugham wrote a novel suggested by the curious career of Gauguin; it has since become a minor classic work of fiction. In his book, Maugham never admitted that he wrote generally about Gauguin. But everyone knew he did. In 1941, when United Artists began filming the novel, they received a stern letter from the painter's eldest son, Emile Gauguin, who then lived in Philadelphia. Emile threatened to sue if any Gauguin art was used in the movie, as this would conclusively identify Maugham's disreputable hero with his father. To avoid suit, the movies created fakes.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
VCI Entertainment and United Artists present "THE MOON AND SIXPENCE" (1942) (89 mins/B&W/Color) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- Starring George Sanders, Herbert Marshall, Doris Dudley and Steven Geray --- Directed by Albert Lewin and released in October 27, 1942, our story line and film, While the beginning of this film is a bit slow, soon we are treated to a simple but effective treatment of this extraordinary story ... as the Gauguin-like painter Charles Strickland, played by George Sanders actually does a bit more than play his 'typical cad', but relishes his character's poking fun at a hypocritical society, and shows real passion in describing to the Maugham-like figure exactly WHY he leaves his ordinary London existence --- We absolutely believe him when he insists "I HAVE TO PAINT". Wisely, the director doesn't let us see any of Strickland's canvases, and we are only limited by our own imaginations as to how powerful they must be --- The story alone is worth viewing, a person abandoning their family in order to follow one's dream, is compelling enough ... Sander's performance as well as Herbert Marshall as Somerset Maughm are both first rate --- No one could have done a finer job at playing the tortured cad then Sanders --- Herbert Marshall once again plays Maugham, as he did in "The Razor's Edge" (1946) --- Sanders has a field day playing an absolute cad, who cares for no one but himself as he deserts wife, family and career to paint ... a slightly fictionalized biography of Paul Gauguin --- Great score by Dimitri Tiomkin as usual ... Remember when Mr. Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Maugham Adaptation October 31, 2007
Format:DVD
Somerset Maugham's Anglicized roman-a-clef about Paul Gauguin received happy treatment in this 1942 Albert Lewin version. Always drawn to high-falutin' subjects, and frequently rather poky in his approach, here Lewin proves an ideal interpreter of the source material; he provides reams of dialogue for Maugham's usual narrator/stand-in, wittily played by Herbert Marshall, whose acres of commentary over silent visuals proves piquant rather than irritating. George Sanders was never seen to better than in this portrayal of an artist whose brutal honesty and selfishness proves destructive to those who love him. The entire cast is excellent, but special mention should be made of Florence Bates. She's usually a treat, but never in a role like this; the lady seems to be having the time of her life cast against type. The DVD transfer is fine; one version reproduces the theatrical release, with its black-and-white Europe, sepia tropics, and burst of color at the end. Highly recommended for fans of literate cinema.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thruppence June 28, 2009
By toronto
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is in many ways a faithful version of the novel, with all of its flaws (it lacks the last scene back in England, and there is a little airbrushing of the reason why the Dutch artist's wife married Dirk, but otherwise it is fairly true to the book). The book is somewhat boring: as is the movie -- it was thrilling in its day, but we have been through many iterations of the tormented genius since then. The so-called colour of the last reel is strange: most of it is simply sepia, without explanation (the world of Tahiti is the world of sepia, like Oz I suppose). The pseudo-Gauguin pictures are the only things in real colour (they are very interesting, un-Gauguin-like copies, more naturalistic -- or if you like, about as authentic as the "Bali-Java-Hollywood" dancing that goes on in one scene. The artist -- whoever it was who did them -- was clearly fascinated with the opportunity to show naked Tahitian breasts on screen!). The filmmaker has a scene or two at the end set up to mimic real Gauguin paintings (and these living images are actually quite finely considered). And there is a terrific gauguinesque "primitive" statue that appears throughout: someone who really knew Gaugin's work did that. It is interesting that the filmmakers left until the very end the showing to us of the paintings -- in so many films (e.g. Picasso) we see the artist's "work" or the knockoffs thereof and the whole artist image in the film collapses. This time they wait until the last possible moment -- very wise. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story
A dazzling silver screen adaptation of one of my all time favorite books. A must have for Maugham collectors.
Published 1 month ago by PB Kolleri
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanders/Marshall...
two of my favorites! For classic movie fans; this movie is a total must. If you like George Sanders and his accent and looks; and being a total jerk! Which he was so great at! Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kel Michaels Mantell
4.0 out of 5 stars UNIQUE!!!!!
Overall, the print quality is good although it could use some restoration. Everything seems fine, then you come to what seems like the inevitable splice during dialogue which... Read more
Published 20 months ago by larryj1
5.0 out of 5 stars George Sanders in his prime--what more can you ask for?
Too bad the TV version starring Larry O. is not available on DVD for comparison/contrast of the scripts. But if memory serves . . . Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jim Richardson
2.0 out of 5 stars Barely a two
What a mess of a film. For the first hour or so we learn that that the painter was an amoral scoundrel, leaving his family and others because he wants to be alone and paint. Read more
Published on May 5, 2012 by C.A. Arthur
3.0 out of 5 stars A moon for the misbegotten
The last review of this DVD was posted in June 2009. It is a superb piece of work that is balanced, erudite, and arrives at a proper evaluation of this movie. Read more
Published on February 7, 2012 by David M. Goldberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly accurate portrayal...
...of perhaps history's greatest novel.

I first read the book many years ago and fell in love with it. Read more
Published on December 1, 2008 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moon and Sixpence DVD
Really excellent quality! This is a really rare film, not available for rental even. I have looked for years but always read someone else's review stating that "The color version... Read more
Published on June 18, 2008 by Patricia M. Moore
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie,pity about the last reel!
As a previous reviewer,A.Andersen,said:where is the missing last reel in color?..when orginally shown this looked terrific on the screen. Read more
Published on May 29, 2006 by H. G. Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Hot & The Colors Are Clear
George Sanders is my favorite old time movie actor. Not only did he slap Anne Baxter's evil Eve in the face in All About Eve with authority, he knew how to put a woman "in her... Read more
Published on April 18, 2006 by cvairag
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