A modern retelling of Oscar Wilde's classic masterpiece. In the wealthy and vain hedonist Dorian Gray, painter Basil Hallward has found his muse. Only when Dorian's portrait begins to age, ... See full summary »
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... See full summary »
Writer Georges Duroy (George Sanders) is one social-climbing S.O.B. who does most of his climbing over the warm (and cold) bodies of women. He begins with Rachel (Marie Wilson), a hanger-on... See full summary »
Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane.
In 1886, in Victorian London, the corrupt Lord Henry Wotton (George Sanders) meets the pure Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield) posing for talented painter Basil Hallward (Lowell Gilmore). Basil paints Dorian's portrait and gives the beautiful painting and an Egyptian sculpture of a cat to him, while Henry corrupts his mind and soul, telling him that Dorian should seek pleasure in life. Dorian wishes that his portrait could age instead of him. Dorian goes to a side show in the Two Turtles in the poor neighborhood of London, and he falls in love with singer Sibyl Vane (Dame Angela Lansbury). Dorian decides to marry her and tells Lord Henry, who convinces him to test the honor of Sibyl. Dorian Gray leaves Sibyl and travels abroad, and when he returns to London, Lord Henry tells him that Sibyl committed suicide for love. Throughout the years, Dorian's friends age while he is still the same, but his picture discloses his evilness and corruptive life. Can he still have salvation, or is his soul ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Above the "Non ignoravi" quote on the schoolroom blackboard is another: "Honi soit qui mal y pence", which is the motto of the Order of the Garter, and translates as "Shame on him who thinks evil of it." It is usually used to insinuate the presence of hidden agendas or conflicts of interest. The Order of the Garter and its relationship to chivalry ties into Sybil Vane's vision of Dorian Gray as one of King Arthur's knights. See more »
When Dorian is riding the train early on, the scenery of the rear projection outside the train window changes from passing trees to open fields. See more »
Lord Henry Wotton:
What is it that has really happened? Someone has killed herself who loved you. I wish I had had such an experience. The women who have admired me, and there have been some, have always insisted on living long after I've ceased to care for them or them for me.
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Some prints are slightly edited, omitting Dorian's (Hurd Hatfield) prayer and Lord Henry's (George Sanders) line, "Heaven forgive me" in the final scene. See more »
Elegant, atmospheric and measured. I suppose anyone brought up on fin de siecle Hollywood would interpret that as `slow and boring'. But this was Hollywood tackling an intellectual piece with, well, intellect. I must confess that the thought of a 1945 Hollywood attempt at Oscar Wilde did not appeal. Memories of one or two previous efforts at English literary classics set alarm bells ringing. But this was in a class of its own. Beautifully photographed in black and white, apart from a couple shots of the painting itself, the aesthetics shimmer.
I wasn't that convinced about some of the London scenes, especially the low-life portrayal of the East End. The opium den and the `Two Turtles', where Gray first meets Sibyl Vane, look rather too genteel. Compare this view of such places with those created by David Lean, just a couple of years later, in `Oliver Twist'. And this, in a sense, detracts from the depths to which Gray descends in order to be forever youthful and live life with scant regard for others. And in many years of watching BBC Victorian costume dramas I don't recall seeing such outfits on the backs of London's society ladies! However some of the other detail is first class. In particular Sir Thomas's decision to remain at table (`never could resist Aunt Agatha's quails') in spite of Lord Henry's outrageous comments rings true through to today. As the script had it `think like a Liberal, eat like a Tory'.
The acting is excellent with Hurd Hatfield's portrayal quite remarkable in that he wears the same expression virtually throughout, in order, no doubt, to conceal his true emotions. George Sanders, as Lord Henry, steals every scene he's in thanks to a rapid delivery of Wilde's witticisms that would have Groucho Marx and Woody Allen in awe. Angela Lansbury is, perhaps, a little too demure for a theatrical singer from the East End but, no doubt, this was a result of director's orders.
Essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of film.
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