Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham's account of the life of artist Paul Gauguin, was brought to the screen as a labor of love by writer/director Albert Lewin. George Sanders plays Charles Strickland, a staid London broker who kicks over the traces to become an artist. Strickland pursues his dream to the extent of leaving his family, betraying his friends and associates, and living a life of unending hedonism in Tahiti. An undeniably brilliant painter, Strickland is also a thoroughgoing louse, until he is forced to confront himself on the threshold of death. Herbert Marshall plays the Somerset Maugham character (as he would later in The Razor's Edge), who narrates the story as he attempts to make some sense of Strickland's rakish ways. Director Lewin's obsessive fascination with extraneous exotica -- notably feline statuary and obscure poetry -- is ideally suited to the subject matter of The Moon and Sixpence.
artist, hedonism, life, masterpiece, Tahiti, broker