ⓘ Rembrandt (1936 film)


ⓘ Rembrandt (1936 film)

Rembrandt is a 1936 British biographical film made by London Film Productions of the life of 17th-century Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn. The film was produced and directed by Alexander Korda from a screenplay by June Head and Lajos Biro based on a story by Carl Zuckmayer. The music score was by Geoffrey Toye and the cinematography by Georges Perinal.


1. Cast

  • Raymond Huntley as Ludwick
  • Edmund Willard as Van Zeeland
  • Sam Livesey as Auctioneer
  • Gertrude Lawrence as Geertje Dircx
  • Marius Goring as Baron Leivens uncredited
  • Walter Hudd as Frans Banning Cocq
  • Allan Jeayes as Dr. Tulp
  • Leonard Sharp as Burgher at Auction
  • Alexander Knox as Ludwicks Assistant uncredited
  • Hay Petrie as Jeweller uncredited
  • Roger Livesey as Beggar Saul
  • Austin Trevor as Marquis de Grand-Coeur
  • Abraham Sofaer as Dr. Menasseh
  • John Clements as Govert Flinck
  • Laurence Hanray as Heertsbeeke
  • Elsa Lanchester as Hendrickje Stoffels
  • John Bryning as Titus van Rijn
  • Charles Laughton as Rembrandt van Rijn
  • Edward Chapman as Carel Fabritius
  • Herbert Lomas as Gerrit van Rijn

2. Production

Alexander Korda had previously worked with Laughton on the critically successful The Private Life of Henry VIII. Laughtons wife, Elsa Lanchester, has a role in the film as Hendrickje, Rembrandts maid who also became his lover.


3. Critical reception

The New York Times wrote, "Charles Laughton and Alexander Korda have produced a great, and rich, and glowing motion picture in "Rembrandt," which opened yesterday at the Rivoli, a picture signed all over with distinction, like one of the masters own canvases"; while more recently, Time Out wrote that the film was "Less successful at the time than the earlier Private Life of Henry VIII, but a far better film, thanks to a subtle, touching performance from Laughton as the ageing painter.Surprisingly sombre, it lacks a tight plot, but appeals through its vivid characterisation, superb Vincent Korda sets, and Georges Perinals lovely camerawork."

Writing for The Spectator in 1936, Graham Greene gave the film a poor review, describing it as "a series of unrelated tableaux". Greene found that "the film is ruined by lack of story drive of a well-constructed plot". Greene gave some praise for the acting of Laughton and Lanchester, but condemned the direction stating "I have called the film reverent, but pompous, I fear, would be nearer the mark."