This film adaptation of Wilde's story is certainly one of the great atmospheric black and white films of the 40's. Reminiscent of Greg Toland's ground breaking deep focus cinematography in "Citizen Kane",the shades of black, greys and whites are sharp and clearly deliniated to produce an unforgettable, somewhat eerie look to the film. There are a couple of short Technicolor shots that will make you jump. Cinematography is the star here but let's talk about Hurd Hatfield. I have seen this film on numerous occasions and have yet to figure out whether Hatfield is a great actor or just a woodenly inanimate object. Whichever is the case, this is the role of a lifetime.....it calls for an unfeeling, blank-faced characterization which is exactly as Hatfield played it. His smooth unlined visage hides many things and his apparent lack of emoting is right on target. Does that mean that he just couldn't act and fell into a role that suited his style or does it mean that he rose to the task and his interpretation was the sign of a great actor, living the part. I don't know....all I do know is that he pulls it off with great panache! He was playing against one of the great scene stealers of all times, George Sanders, who spouts Wilde epigrams with his own inimitable class and Hatfield holds his own. The other players are adequate but I don't know what all the excitement is about Angela Lansbury's acting....she was much better in "Gaslight". All in all, this is a movie that I would recommend but beware....it moves slowly, very slowly. Once you see it maybe you can answer the question about Hurd Hatfield's acting.....or maybe not!!!