Directed by Alexander Korda
Written by Carl Zuckmayer, June Head, and Lajos Biró
London Film Productions
This is a very good biography of the painter with a fine performance by Charles Laughton and beautiful costumes and art direction.
The story follows Rembrandt from about the time he lost his beloved wife Saska after his “The Night Watch” met with ridicule. We see Rembrandt struggle with poverty and a nagging mistress (Gertrude Lawrence) while he continues to pursue a vision that few share. He finds contentment toward the end of his life despite bankruptcy through the love and inspiration of former scullery maid Hendrickje (Elsa Lancaster).
Charles Laughton is convincing as Rembrandt. In the course of portraying the painter, he also has the opportunity to movingly read some selections from the Bible. But the real star for me was the production design. The settings, lighting, and costumes call to mind not only several Rembrandt masterpieces but works of other Dutch Masters such as Brueghel and Vermeer. Recommended.