In Victorian London, a beautiful young man is given a portrait of himself by an admiring artist. Soon after this, he treats a young woman cruelly and then notices that his portrait seems to...
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In Victorian London, a beautiful young man is given a portrait of himself by an admiring artist. Soon after this, he treats a young woman cruelly and then notices that his portrait seems to look meaner than it used to. Eventually, he cannot endure the portrait and hides it in the attic. As the years pass, he becomes ever more unscrupulous and dissolute. His friends remark how he is as handsome as ever and never seems to age. But up in the attic, his picture becomes uglier with his sinful ways. Written by
Paul Emmons <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[as he observes his portrait]
Lord Harry Wotton:
What? What do you mean?
How sad it is... That I shall grow old, but this picture will remain always young. My hair will turn gray, my skin will wrinkle, and my teeth will rot. While my picture remains exactly as it is now. If only it were the other way...
Lord Harry Wotton:
If it were I who would remain always young and the picture would grow old. For that, I would give everything...
Lord Harry Wotton:
Yes, everything! For that... I would even give my soul.
[...] See more »
I bought a tape of this film based on the recommendation of other IMDb users and have to say that I was very disappointed. I'm a college professor and showed this movie to my class; they unanimously voted that it's a terrible film. I guess that if you like the old Dark Shadows series, then maybe you'll like this. (I liked Dark Shadows when I was a kid in the '70s, but now I think it's just awful). The first half hour or so at least has the virtue of some fidelity to Wilde's novel. After that, the story veers wildly off course, at least as compared with the 1945 MGM version (which won two Oscars). Nigel Davenport as Lord Henry is really about the only thing watchable in the whole production. A lot of the other acting is bad, the music is melodramatic, and look of the film is terrible. Actually, it's not a film at all--it was obviously shot on video and has that characteristically claustrophobic BBC look about it. The opening scenes are particularly poorly lit, the women's costumes are terrible (the men look all right), and a lot of the characters--including Dorian--seem to have 1970s rather than Victorian hairstyles. The movie does well to include a lot of Wilde's dialog, but the voice-over narration in the voice of Dorian contains a lot of rubbish that directly contradicts Wilde's character. I'm a big Oscar Wilde fan, and I fear that he must have rolled over violently in his grave when this monstrosity was made. Its only improvement over the 1945 version is that the homosexual subtext is definitely more apparent, without being heavy-handed. I haven't seen either of the more recent versions, but if one is interested in seeing the story well told, I would have to recommend the 1945 MGM black-and-white over this one.
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