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    SUBJECTS — Biography/Van Gogh; World/France; Visual Arts;
    SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Talent; Brothers; Mental Illness; Suicide;
            Romantic Relationships;
    Age: 12+; No MPAA Rating; Drama; 1956; 122 minutes; Color; Available from Amazon.com.

    Description:     This is a movie version of Irving Stone's novel about the life of Vincent van Gogh.

    Benefits of the Movie:     This film explores Van Gogh's character but fails to solve the mystery of his growing insanity and ultimate suicide. Excellent performances are turned in by Douglas, as van Gogh and Quinn as Gauguin. We are shown many of Van Gogh's beautiful paintings and the actual scenes which gave rise to them. The film can serve as a platform for discussions about the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.

    Possible Problems:    MODERATE. Smoking and alcohol use and abuse are shown. Van Gogh's self-destructive behavior, cutting off an ear and eventually committing suicide, are described in the film but not in a graphic manner.

    Parenting Points:     Briefly describe for your child how the Impressionists and the Post-Impressionists were different than the classical painters who had dominated the art world when van Gogh was painting. See the Helpful Background section of the Learning Guide to "Mary Cassatt: American Impressionist". Ask and help your child to answer the Quick Discussion Question. If your child expresses an interest, sit down with him or her and go through an art book with van Gogh's paintings in it.


Benefits of the Movie
Possible Problems
Parenting Points
Selected Awards & Cast
Helpful Background
Discussion Questions:
      See Learning Guide to Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh.

WORKSHEETS: TWM offers the following worksheets to keep students' minds on the movie and direct them to the lessons that can be learned from the film. Teachers can modify the movie worksheets to fit the needs of each class. See also TWM's Historical Fiction in Film Cross-Curricular Homework Project.

    Selected Awards, Cast and Director:

      Selected Awards:  1956 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (Quinn); 1957 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor - Drama (Douglas); 1956 National Board of Review Awards: Ten Best Films of the Year; 1956 New York Film Critics Awards: Best Actor (Douglas); 1956 Academy Award Nominations: Best Actor (Douglas), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Color).

      Featured Actors:  Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown, Everett Sloane, Henry Daniell, Niall MacGinnis, Noel Purcell, Lionel Jeffries, Jill Bennett.

      Director:  Vincente Minnelli.


QUICK DISCUSSION QUESTION:   What is the basis of love between children of the same family? Answer the question, if you can, using an example from this film.

Suggested Response: A good answer would include some or all of the following. Love among siblings arises from their long association starting early in life when association is for the most part among family members. It also comes from the fact that siblings share the most important people to children, their parents. Love among siblings arises from the fact that they come from the same primal group from which most of their heritage springs, i.e., the family. Caring among siblings is reinforced by their rich shared history.

Click here for TWM's lesson plans to introduce cinematic and theatrical technique.

    Bridges to Reading: None.
  Select questions that are appropriate for your students.

MOVIES ON RELATED TOPICS: See Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh and Moulin Rouge (biographical film about Toulouse Lautrec).


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