Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The story of Paul Gaugin (1848-1903), the Parisian stockbroker who left his job, his wife and his five children for the life of an artist in Tahiti, was superbly fictionalized in Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence. Gaugin the Savage is the same story with no names changed, told in two wearisome hours. David Carradine is the right age for Gaugin, and certainly does well in conveying the man's callous self-absorption. But we never quite see the inner fire that would compel a man to totally kick over the traces at age 35 and devote the remaining 20 years of his life to art and debauchery. This made-for-TV movie is at its best when showcasing Gaugin's fiercely brilliant paintings. Otherwise, Gaugin the Savage is as shallow as its advertising campaign, which showed a goateed David Carradine standing in the middle of Tahitian garden with both fists clenched--more closely resembling a disgruntled magician rather than a brilliant artist.
artist, starting-over, Tahiti, egocentric, stockbroker, Parisian