* The Moviegoer *
"Rembrandt" by Korda and Laughton is Year's Most Distinguished Movie Gertrude Lawrence Co-Star
Dignity, truthfulness, and care make the Korda-Laughton "Rembrandt" an outstandingly fine movie, one as strong and vivid as the central character. Stooping to neither thrill nor pathos the picture sweeps majestically over seventeenth century Holland, silhouetting the rugged simplicity of the painter by contrasts with petty people about him. Historical accuracy and first-rate camera work show that Hollywood on the Thames is learning the American tricks.
Thowing precedent off the lot, Korda begins his version of Rembrandt with the painter at the peak of popularity and wealth and stops the cameras while the hero still lives and chuckles. The first axe to fall on Rambrandt's life is the death of his loved wife, Saskia, followed shortly by the failure of the painting "The Night Watch" to please the vain guardsmen. Rembrandt skids down hill, his style goes out of favor and his house-keeper-mistress (Gertrude Lawrence) becomes a shrew. He finds a few short years of peace and success with the adoring Hendrickje Stoffels, but her death leaves him friendless and penniless. Even in his last year the painter gets fun out of living, but he gives a cynical parting quip, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity". Laughton is in top-rate form, dominating every minute of the lusty, strong picture.