If you want to understand van Gogh on a deep level, read the three volume set of his letters. If you want an accurate overview of his life, read the biography by David Sweetman. If you want an extremely entertaining but fictionalized account, read the novel this film was based on: "Lust For Life," by Irving Stone (a great book). If all you want is a sketchy shadow of who this genius was, watch this movie. It is to van Gogh what Disney's "Hunchback" was to Victor Hugo's great novel. Almost nothing in it is true - it doesn't even follow the novel very closely. There are enormous lapses in critical events that are important to understanding van Gogh. People who were influential to the development of his art and philosophy aren't included or are composited into fictional characters. Time is vastly compressed and almost all the events are based on misinformation and are subject to typical Hollywood writing that can't accept the fact that truth may be more entertaining than fiction. The novel is guilty of this type of thing, too, but Irving Stone does such a better job! This film relies on perpetuating every last stereotype and myth about the artist. On the positive side, Kirk Douglas does a very good job looking like van Gogh, and Anthony Quinn's portrayal of Gauguin is right on the money. Miklos Rozsa's score is a classic, as well. Check out the CD! As someone who has studied van Gogh, it is difficult to recommend this film, because it's mostly wrong. For those who don't care about seeing the truth, it's at least entertaining.