One of my personal favorites of films of the '40s is this visually striking version raising the art of black-and-white photography to new heights. The sets and costumes and deep-focus photography combine to make even more absorbing the story Oscar Wilde tells of the man whose portrait decays as he himself remains forever youthful. Hurd Hatfield never had a better role and he makes the most of it. George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, Peter Lawford, Lionel Gilmore, George Sanders, Morton Lowry and many others contribute to the overall excellence of the acting. The period atmosphere of late-Victorian London adds much to the slowly growing horror of the tale. Complaints by others on this message board that the film is too slow or too talky are foolish. If you want action and special effects, see a Clint Eastwood or Bruce Willis film--forget this. But as a compelling and psychological study of a man influenced by evil (personified by George Sanders as Lord Henry), this version is better than any of the others made since. It's chilling, the way Wilde intended, and no one could deliver his cynical yet witty observations about human nature better than George Sanders. By all means, an outstanding film. Should be required viewing as a study of the art of black-and-white cinematography.