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 »
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 »
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 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
At approximately 34:35 into the film, the time on the clock in the room suddenly changes from just after 2 o'clock to 3 o'clock. Then at approximately 37:00 it moves back to 2:05 and then to 2:09 as Dorian continues to play the piano. See more »
Lord Henry Wotton:
What is it that has really happened? Someone has killed herself who loved you. I wish I had had such an experience. The women who have admired me, and there have been some, have always insisted on living long after I've ceased to care for them or them for me.
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The Picture Of Dorian Gray is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel, and captures the tone of the story nicely but misses something in translation, namely Wilde's remarkable prose. It's a strange tale, about morality and art, with touches of diabolism and the supernatural, exquisitely rendered in language that is both breathtakingly poetic and strangely concrete. I see the story as a kind of fragmented autobiography, with Wilde as both Dorian and his portrait, as well as Basil Hallward, the man who made the painting. He is also, as author of the story, Lord Henry Wotton. Wilde is everywhere in this tale, which is fitting, as vanity is its major theme. The movie misses these delicate subtleties, so crucial to understanding the book, and the result is a genteel horror picture for the carriage trade.
As a horror movie, Dorian Gray has its virtues. The use of a handsome man as the monster, rather than some hideous creature, is in itself a virtue and a novelty. That Dorian's picture grows old as he does not, in conveyed gradually, first through barely noticeable changes in the picture's expressions, then by increased ugliness. I wish that director Albert Lewin had chosen a better painter for these later pictures, which are over the top in their weirdness, and out of keeping with the movie's refined tone. As to Dorian's journeying through the dives and dens of iniquity of late night Victorian London, I wish that these aspects of the story had been either a lot better presented and fleshed out or merely suggested by dialogue. If a movie is going to deal with degeneracy it should either show it or describe it vividly. The film succeeds when dealing with well-bred, upper class types in their fancy homes, but fails to deliver when dealing with the poor and the uneducated.
Hurd Hatfield as Dorian gives a good, cool performance. One is scarcely aware that the actor is American. He is a handsome man, but not so beautiful as the Dorian of the book, and he fails to light up the screen. Peter Lawford, who has a small part in the film, would have been much better, at least physically. George Sanders comes across as even more bored than usual as Lord Henry, and delivers his epigrams and asides with surprisingly little panache, especially given that he had shown himself to be master of this sort of thing on other occasions. Angela Lansbury's performance as the pathetic little cockney singer Dorian goes for, is very fine, though he part seems underwritten.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that director Lewin bungled his job, but the film overall succeeds only with Wilde's mood, not his ideas. This was a wonderful opportunity for Hollywood to take on a classic and give it a spin uniquely its own, as happened with the Sherlock Holmes pictures, the MGM Pride and Prejudice and the Cukor-Selznick David Copperfield. Dorian Gray succeeds well as light entertainment, with a few thrills along the way, but it never really soars or comes to life or catches the audience by surprise.
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