Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This filmed biography of Vincent Van Gogh was adapted by Norman Corwin from the best-selling novel by Irving Stone, which was in turn inspired by the written correspondence between Van Gogh and his brother Theo. Kirk Douglas plays the tormented genius, whose obsessive devotion to his art engulfs, consumes, and finally destroys him. James Donald costars as Theo Van Gogh, who provides financial and moral support to his brother from the time Vincent leaves his Holland home in 1878 to his death in Auvers in 1890. Anthony Quinn won an Oscar for his eight-minute turn as Van Gogh's fast friend and erstwhile rival Paul Gaugin. Nearly 200 of Van Gogh's original paintings were borrowed from private collections for brief display in the film: some are "recreated" before our eyes, as the artist stands before his easel, spattered with paint and with a look of white-hot intensity burned into his countenance.