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The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 3 March 1945 (USA)
A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director:

Albert Lewin

Writers:

Albert Lewin (screen play), Oscar Wilde (based upon the novel by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Sanders ... Lord Henry Wotton
Hurd Hatfield ... Dorian Gray
Donna Reed ... Gladys Hallward
Angela Lansbury ... Sibyl Vane
Peter Lawford ... David Stone
Lowell Gilmore ... Basil Hallward
Richard Fraser ... James Vane
Douglas Walton ... Allen Campbell
Morton Lowry ... Adrian Singleton
Miles Mander ... Sir Robert Bentley
Lydia Bilbrook Lydia Bilbrook ... Mrs. Vane
Mary Forbes ... Lady Agatha
Robert Greig ... Sir Thomas
Moyna MacGill ... Duchess
Billy Bevan ... Malvolio Jones - Chairman
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Storyline

In 1886, in the Victorian London, the corrupt Lord Henry Wotton meets the pure Dorian Gray posing for talented painter Basil Hallward. 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 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 the singer Sibyl Vane. Dorian decides to get married with her and tells to Lord Henry that 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. Along 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 trapped in the doomed painting? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Youth's adventure in living! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ivan Le Lorraine Albright's famous painting of the decayed Dorian Gray - which took approximately one year to complete - is now owned by the Art Institute of Chicago, where it has been on display for many years. Albright's twin brother Malvin Albright, better known as a sculptor, was also commissioned to create a painting of the young Dorian for the film, although his work went unused. Henrique Medina did the portrait seen in the film. The March 27, 1944 issue of Life magazine included a story and photos of the brothers working on their paintings for the film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sir Thomas: You must admit that women give men the very gold of their lives.
Lord Henry Wotton: But they invariably want it back in such small change. Women, as a witty Frenchman put it, inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces and always prevent us from carrying them out.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Immortal Movie Characters (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Good-Bye, Little Yellow Bird
(uncredited)
Lyrics and Music by C.W. Murphy and William Hargreaves
Performed by Angela Lansbury
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It's only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion.
15 September 2013 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Picture of Dorian Gray is directed by Albert Lewin, and he also adapts the screenplay from the novel written by Oscar Wilde. It stars Hurd Hatfield, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, Peter Lawford, Lowell Gilmore, Richard Fraser and Douglas Walton. Music is by Herbert Stothart and cinematography by Harry Stradling Sr.

Dorian Gray of Mayfair and Selby.

Oscar Wilde's Faustian tale about a young Victorian gentleman who sells his soul to retain his youth is given a magnificent make-over by MGM. Pumping into it a budget reputedly of $2 million, the look and feel is perfect for this macabre observation of vanity, greed and self destruction. In many ways it's still an under valued movie, mainly because there will always be Wilde purists who think it lacks the writer's poetic spikiness, while horror fans quite often venture into the picture expecting some sort of violent classic ripe with sex, drugs and debauchery unbound.

Lewin crafts his film in understated manner, never allowing the themes in the source material to become overblown just for dramatic purpose. He cloaks it all with an atmosphere of eeriness, thus keeping the debasing nature of Dorian Gray subdued. The horror aspects here mostly are implied or discussed in elegantly stated conversations, where the horror in fact is purely in the characterisation of Dorian himself. We really don't need to see actual things on screen, we are urged to be chilled to the marrow by his mere presence, and this works because Lewin has personalised us into this man's sinful descent by way of careful pacing and character formation.

There are some jolt moments of course, notably the famous inserts of Technicolor into the black and white film, the impact of such bringing the portrait of the title thundering into our conscious. However, this is not about thrill rides and titillation, because the film, like its source, is intellectual. Lewin is aided considerably by Stradling's beautiful photography, which in turn either vividly realises the opulent abodes or darkens the dens of iniquities, so just like Lewin, Stradling and the art department work wonders and prove to be fine purveyors of their craft.

Hatfield is wonderful, it's an inspired piece of casting, with his angular features and cold dead eyes, he effortlessly suggests the black heart now beating where once there was a soul. Yet even he, and the rest of the impressive cast, are trumped by Sanders as Lord Henry. Cynical, brutal yet rich with witticisms, in Sanders' excellent hands Lord Henry becomes the smiling devil like mentor perched on Dorian's shoulder. Dorian and Lord Henry are movie monsters, proof positive that not all monsters need to be seen hacking off limbs or drinking blood. In this case, the decaying of the soul is a far more terrifying experience.

Fascinating, eloquent, intelligent and frightening. 9/10


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