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
The dark musical piece that is heard repeatedly is Frédéric Chopin's "Prelude in D Minor", the last of the twenty-four pieces of "Opus 28". The set is widely regarded as one of the supreme achievements of solo piano composition. In an homage to Johann Sebastian Bach, the twenty-four pieces are written in all of the major and minor keys, beginning with C/A minor and progressing via the circle of 5ths to F/D minor. Chopin was personally the polar opposite to Dorian Gray, a man who struggled with illness and died young, yet left a lasting spiritual legacy that conveys immortality. See more »
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 »
Lord Henry Wotton:
I'm analyzing women at present. The subject is less difficult than I was led to believe. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals.
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Older TV prints of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" ran entirely in black-and-white, and did not show the painting in colour. Most current TV broadcasts now show the proper colour inserts. According to some sources, the final shot of the film was also originally shown in colour, but all extant prints show the final shot in black-and-white. See more »
Elegant and Timeless Classic Has Excellent Performances
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.
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