Classic Artistic Bio
Henry Frank Moon | Altadena, CA USA | 11/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very well acted, classic biography of Rembrandt. Charles Laughton is Rembrant. Not a standard 30's bio film. Unfortunately in black and white and the print was worn."
A subtle & humane portrait
William Timothy Lukeman | 02/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered this film completely by accident, picking it up at a sale for just a couple of dollars ... but after seeing it, I would gladly have paid full price for it. What an unexpected pleasure! It's more about Rembrandt the man than the artist, in that it explores his personality & crucial events in his life, but it does feature a fascinating look at his famous "The Night Watch" & the initial reaction to it.
The film is a bit episodic, without a strong narrative arc, which may not make it as appealing to some viewers. But the real reason to see it is for Charles Laughton's superb performance, which is subdued and nuanced. Yes, he explodes once or twice, as only Laughton could -- but for the most part, he conveys a wealth of feeling with an understated shift of expression or body language.
The look of the film is beautiful, in the elegant way that only an older film can be, with its deeply textured black & white photography. And it touches both on philosophy, as in Rembrandt's impassioned words on Woman, as well as some familiar issues which never go out of style: Art vs. Commerce, Public Approval vs. Personal Integrity.
If you're not that familiar with this older style of filmmaking, you might have to make some adjustments. But I think you'll find it well worth seeing, and come away with a deeper understanding of one of the world's great artists. Remarkable & recommended!"
G. Smith | UK | 09/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a real classic in movie history and the brilliance of Charles Laughton's acting ability."