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Dorian Gray (2009)

Trailer
1:31 | Trailer

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A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty eternally, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director:

Oliver Parker

Writers:

Toby Finlay, Oscar Wilde (novel)
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Popularity
3,934 ( 8)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Barnes ... Dorian Gray
John Hollingworth ... Patrol Policeman
Cato Sandford Cato Sandford ... Rent Boy
Pip Torrens ... Victor
Fiona Shaw ... Agatha
Ben Chaplin ... Basil Hallward
Caroline Goodall ... Lady Radley
Maryam d'Abo ... Gladys
Michael Culkin ... Lord Radley
Colin Firth ... Lord Henry Wotton
Emilia Fox ... Lady Victoria Wotton
Nathan Rosen Nathan Rosen ... Young Dorian
Jeff Lipman ... Lord Kelso (as Jeffrey Lipman Snr)
Louise Kempton Louise Kempton ... Prostitute
Douglas Henshall ... Alan Campbell
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Storyline

A naïve young man. A lovelorn artist. A corruptible Lord. A deal with the Devil. It all paints a dark picture of a Victorian London and how the rich and infamous party at their peril. Here, the telling of time and its consequence of experience for life's treasures' takes its toll on the body, mind and soul. The haunting and bleak tale of power, greed, vanity and inevitable self-destruction is ever present amongst the deceit, opium dens and sin. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forever Young. Forever Cursed.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content including nudity, violence and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El retrato de Dorian Gray See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£883,148 (United Kingdom), 13 September 2009, Limited Release

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,563,362, 22 August 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Colin Firth and Emilia Fox, who play a married couple in this film, also starred as family members in the 1995 BBC Production of Pride and Prejudice (1995); only in that film, they were siblings. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot, horse drawn carriages travel along a London street. The film is set in the 1890s but the road is smoothly tarmacked, a surface treatment invented in 1902 and only commercialised some years later. See more »

Quotes

Lord Henry Wotton: The only way to get rid of a temptation, is to yield to it.
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Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, one of the pieces of music played is listed as Haydn's "Sting Quartet" Op 76 No 4. See more »

Alternate Versions

During post-production, the film was tailored for a '15' certificate in the UK. According to the BBFC, the filmmaker cuts were as follows:
  • A scene in which a tea party is inter-cut with shots showing Dorian's sadomasochistic excesses was toned down to remove or reduce the more explicit moments (explicit sight of a fingernail being pulled off, explicit sight of a chest being cut with a razor in a sexual context, explicit sight of blood being sucked from a woman's breasts and sight of a restrained man being beaten).
  • Additionally, a murder scene was toned down to remove the sense of dwelling on the infliction of pain and injury (reduction in the number of stabbings, removal of a blood spurt from man's neck, reduction in sight of victim choking on his blood).
The subsequent version was then formally passed '15' by the BBFC without cuts, and released on DVD and Blu-ray. See more »

Connections

Version of Az élet királya (1918) See more »

Soundtracks

String quartet op. 76 No. 4
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A disappointing and shallow adaptation
13 November 2011 | by itamarscomixSee all my reviews

As is, The Picture of Dorian Gray is pretty much unfilmable. The 1945 version was close to doing it justice, but changes must be made whenever an adaptation is attempted. Still, when I see a new version coming out, I hope that it would bring more to the table than this sorry affair.

Oliver Parker is apparently thinking less of Oscar Wilde and more of himself with every adaptation. The very same director who did a fantastic job with very loyal and conservative adaptations of An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, strayed this time so much from the source material that it's barely recognizable - and I mean less the plot, and more the atmosphere, the message, the smart dialog and the fascinating characters who made the original novel so compelling. Parker chose instead to focus on the horror and erotic elements of the story, making it a pretty standard Dark-Side-of-London Victorian era horror film, perhaps in a feeble attempt to cash in on the success of From Hell and Sweeney Todd - and at its worst moments, it feels almost like a Twilight follower. Though the production values are clearly pretty high - cinematography, costumes and sets are all pretty good - they're also uninspired and completely lacking in originality.

Even worse are the cardboard characters and the shallow horror-movie dialog that replace the witty and dark banter Wilde was famous for. Ben Barnes is a very weak Dorian, showing no emotion or development over the course of the movie, but it's not solely his fault; Colin Firty gives his whole to a very complex and interesting character, but it's not enough to make the dialog ring with any kind of depth.

Thanks to a solid production and a couple of good actors, Dorian Gray is watchable, but just barely; and when it's supposed to be darkest, it's the most ridiculous. A pointless adaptation of a classic piece of literature.


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