This being Thursday, it's time for another Thursday Movie Picks, run by the Wandering Through the Shelves blog. This week's theme is movies about artists or painters, and as a fan of old movies, I've naturally picked three older ones.
First up is The Moon and Sixpence (1942). George Sanders plays an artist who is based more or less on Paul Gauguin. He starts the film as a middle-class businessman with a wife and family, but that passion for art consumes him, to the point where he leaves his family and London first for Paris, and then for the South Seas. Herbert Marshall plays the friend of the family (played by Herbert Marshall and apparently based on Somerset Maugham, who wrote the story) who tries to find Sanders.
Next up is Scarlet Street (1945). Edward G. Robinson plays a cashier/bookkeeper for a small business whose passion on the side is art. This even though he's not very good at it and has a wife who treats him like dirt for it. So when he runs into a beautiful woman (Joan Bennett) who tells him he's good, he falls for the woman. He doesn't realize that this is supposed to be a noir and he's the victim of the femme fatale. Dan Duryea plays Bennett's partner in crime. Robinson is as good as ever here.
Portrait of Jennie (1948). Joseph Cotten plays the artist here, a Depression-era man who is struggling because, while he has passion, he can't get anybody to buy any of his work. One day in Central Park, he runs into a young girl (Jennifer Jones) who seems like she's from out of the past. And then the next time he runs into her a few days later, she seems to have aged months if not years. Cotten has to learn what happened to this girl, as he paints her portrait. Ethel Barrymore is excellent as an art dealer who supports Cotten's passion; Cecil Kellaway is her business partner.
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