7.5/10
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121 user 66 critic

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 & 4 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 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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why did women talk about Dorian Gray in whispers? See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the playroom/schoolroom of Dorian Gray's youth is a chalkboard. Written on the chalkboard is the statement, "Non ignoravi mortalem isse", which loosely translates as "not ignoring to be mortal". The concept of the mortal versus the immortal is a central theme of this story, that is, a life spent in pursuit for mortal passions that must eventually end versus living a spiritual, and therefore immortal, life. This, along with the knife that had been stabbed into the desk, indicate that Gray's turn toward darkness had begun long before the portrait had been painted. See more »

Goofs

When Sibyl Vane first catches sight of Dorian while she's performing "Goodbye, Little Yellow Bird," she momentarily stops singing, but her voice can still be heard on the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

Dorian Gray: [contemplatively] Yes; there is something quite lethal about a painting.
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

Referenced in Family Guy: When You Wish Upon a Weinstein (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Youth
(uncredited)
by Herbert Stothart
See more »

User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Good
6 February 2002 | by dcshannoSee all my reviews

It's hard to say what it is about "The Picture of Dorian Gray" that I enjoyed so much, but I did like it. Hurd Hatfield at first seems miscast and ineffective as the titular character, but somewhere around the one hour mark, his one and only expression begins to grow on you until you feel just as unnerved by his presence as those who come in contact with him in the story. George Sanders--from what I've seen--played one character his enter career but played it so well, and his performance in this film is no exception. Angela Lansbury is surprisingly sympathetic as the sad and timid singer. The only one in the cast who really doesn't work is Donna Reed. Her character feels tacked on, and she isn't allowed to do much but look faithful and beautiful.

The film is shot wonderfully, and Harry Stradling's cinematography gives the East End scenes a dark, atmospheric counter balance to the rather plain and flat interiors of Dorian's home. The swinging lamp was a nice touch and reminded me of "Psycho"'s finale.

I suppose my only criticism is toward the end, the story introduced one or two characters without giving them proper context or background (I'm thinking of the Allen Campbell character). I'm assuming Dorian "convinces" him to take part in his plans because of some sort past homosexual tryst, but it seemed unfair to bring him in they way he was, have him serve the role he does, and then disappear so quickly without explanation. And speaking of suggested themes: Is it just me, or could you make an argument that Dorian is Jack the Ripper? Maybe it's actually pretty obvious or maybe I'm just interpreting too much into the story, but that's what I got out of it.

P.S. I had the opportunity to see the actual painting from the film during an Ivan Albright exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1997. It's even more gruesome in person.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Picture of Dorian Gray See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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