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
Adrian's chalk sketch of Dorian Gray on the table changes from shot to shot. 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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Angela Lansbury at her most beautifully, sensuously, and vulnerably innocent!
Although sparse treatment of minor characters and some noticeable deletions from the novel (due to the straight-laced, 1945-ish treatment of certain of Gray's more perverse and debauched atrocities) may be "intrusive" to fans of Wilde's disturbing (but often delightful) descriptions of the more colorful of the late-Victorians' tastes in sensual depravity, this production is a fine example of the careful writing, thoughtful directing, and the control of character Hollywood's artistry could (seldom so successfully) proffer.
Despite George Sanders' somewhat stilted and--in modern terms--"out of the moment" portrayal as the film opens, within ten minutes or so the audience meets the serenely enchanting Hurd Hatfield's rendition of the title character, and the artistry begins. Once Hatfield enters the film the supporting performances become increasingly effective, and the remainder of the production, including Sanders as "Lord Henry," reach almost mythic proportions.
With near-perfection, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) delivers Wilde's portrait of Narcissistic and perfidious sensuality--the delight and desire of the suppressed and decayed late nineteenth-century Victorian elite-- . . . or, . . .
as Sanders quotes Wilde: "To get back my youth, I'll do anything except 'get up early, take exercise, or live respectably.'"
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