The Moon and Sixpence

Screening on Film
Directed by Albert Lewin.
With George Sanders, Herbert Marshall.
US, 1942, 35mm, color and b&w, 89 min.

A spirited adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s famous novel (itself loosely based on the life of Gauguin), Lewin’s debut feature clearly announces the signature pre-occupation that will carry across all of his films: the incompatibility of the artistic impulse and bourgeois mores. Charles Strickland is a respectable London stockbroker until he rejects his safe, comfortable life to become a painter and relocates to Tahiti. It is easy to see Strickland’s change of life as a parallel to Lewin's career shift from studio executive to director of a string of boldly eccentric films. Sanders plays the painter as a heartless louse but a brilliant artist, a contradiction that is the leitmotif of the actor’s other roles for Lewin.

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Beyond Good & Evil: The Films of Albert Lewin

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