The Picture of Dorian Gray

( 9 )

Overview

The Picture of Dorian Gray was writer/director Albert E. Lewin's fascinating follow-up to his expressive-esoterica masterpiece The Moon and Sixpence. Hurd Hatfield essays the title character, a London aristocrat who would sell his soul to remain handsome and young--and, in a manner of speaking, he does just that. Under the influence of his decadent albeit witty friend Lord Henry Wotton George Sanders, Dorian Gray becomes the embodiment of virtually every sin known to man. The greatest of his sins is vanity: Gray ...
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Overview

The Picture of Dorian Gray was writer/director Albert E. Lewin's fascinating follow-up to his expressive-esoterica masterpiece The Moon and Sixpence. Hurd Hatfield essays the title character, a London aristocrat who would sell his soul to remain handsome and young--and, in a manner of speaking, he does just that. Under the influence of his decadent albeit witty friend Lord Henry Wotton George Sanders, Dorian Gray becomes the embodiment of virtually every sin known to man. The greatest of his sins is vanity: Gray commissions artist Basil Hallward Lowell Gilmore to paint his portrait. Admiring his own painted countenance, Gray silently makes a demonic pact. The years pass: everyone grows older but Gray, who seemingly gets younger and more good-looking every day. Hallward eventually stumbles upon the secret of Dorian's eternal youth: he finds his painting hidden in the attic, the portrait's face grown grotesquely aged and disfigured. Gray kills Hallward so that his secret will remain safe. Later on, Gray falls in love with Hallward's niece Gladys Donna Reed. Certain that Gray is responsible for Hallward's death, Gladys' ex-boyfriend David Stone Peter Lawford sets out to prove it. He is joined in this mission by the brother of dance hall performer Sybil Vane Angela Lansbury, who killed herself after Gray betrayed her. Essentially a black and white film, Picture of Dorian Gray bursts into Technicolor whenever the picture is shown in close-up.
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Special Features

SDH; Commentary by Angela Lansbury; and historian Steve Haberman; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The 1945 production of The Picture of Dorian Gray was something of an anomaly, coming several years after the end of the "classic" horror cycle which had included Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the like. Dorian is an excellent production, the best of the many cinematic adaptations of this popular tale, and in some ways an improvement on the Oscar Wilde story upon which it is based. It is not flawless, however; Hurd Hatfield is a bit colorless in the title role, and while director Albert Lewin was undoubtedly trying to use his blandness to make points about the nature and deceptiveness of evil, Hatfield's hollow performance dampens the dramatic punch of the film in a few key places. This is certainly not the case with George Sanders, playing one of those droll cynics for which he was born and getting to spout some of Wilde's most delightful epigrams (such as "I like persons better than principles, and person with no principles better than anything in the world"). Young Angela Lansbury is also used to excellent effect in a change-of-pace "good girl" part, proving that Hollywood rarely appreciated the extent of her talent. The real stars of Dorian, however, are director Lewin and cinematographer Harry Stradling, who work together seamlessly to create wonderful chilling sequences and moments of sheer beauty. Of particular note is the murder sequence, which employs a swinging light to create a stunning play of light-and-dark that emphasizes the manner in which Dorian's soul has been separated from his very being.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2008
  • UPC: 883929002955
  • Original Release: 1945
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Remastered / Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:50:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 11,181

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Sanders Lord Henry Wotton
Hurd Hatfield Dorian Gray
Donna Reed Gladys Hallward
Angela Lansbury Sybil Vane
Peter Lawford David Stone
James Aubrey Cabby
Mary Benoit
Billy Bevan Chairman Malvolio Jones
Lydia Bilbrook Mrs. Vane
Lillian Bond Kate
Elyse Brown Guests At Mayfair Tea
Lisa Carpenter Lady Henry Wotton
Renee Carson Young French Woman
Charles Coleman Butler
Jimmy Conlin Piano Player
Natalie Draper Mrs. Vandelear
Alan Edmiston Cabby
Rex Evans Lord Gerald Goodbody
Mary Forbes Lady Agatha
Richard Fraser James Vane
Lowell Gilmore Basil Hallward
Gibson Gowland Gibson
Robert Greig Sir Thomas
Cedric Hardwicke Narrator
Major Sam Harris Club Member
Morton Lowry Adrian Singleton
Moyna MacGill Duchess
Miles Mander Sir Robert Bentley
Audrey Manners Lady Alice Goodbody
Emily Massey Parker the Nurse
Frank O'Connor Butler
Reginald Owen Lord George Farmoor
Bill Patton Loader
Lee Powell
Renie Riano Lady Ruxton
William Stack Mr. Erskine
Sibyl Vane
Douglas Walton Alan Campbell
Joe Yule Stage Manager
Technical Credits
Albert Lewin Director, Screenwriter
Oscar Wilde Author
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Hans Peters Art Director
Harry Stradling Cinematographer
Marion Herwood Keyes Costumes/Costume Designer
Irene Sharaff Costumes/Costume Designer
Irene Valles Costumes/Costume Designer
Ferris Webster Editor
Jack Dawn Makeup
Pandro S. Berman Producer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Hugh Hunt Set Decoration/Design
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Douglas Shearer Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Picture of Dorian Gray
1. Credits [1:39]
2. Basil's Painting [4:40]
3. Conscious of His Youth [4:44]
4. Dorian's Wish [2:05]
5. Goodybe, Little Yellow Bird [5:26]
6. Prelude to a Kiss [4:58]
7. Sibyl's Gift [2:09]
8. Dorian's News [3:20]
9. Proposed Experiment [4:02]
10. Invitation to Stay [4:52]
11. Touch of Cruelty [5:36]
12. Tragedy [4:49]
13. No Access [6:20]
14. Visits to the Abyss [2:39]
15. Grownup Gladys [5:59]
16. Artist's Handiwork [4:59]
17. Private Exhibition [3:42]
18. Mortal Blow [3:45]
19. No Choice for Campbell [5:29]
20. Dorian Proposes [1:56]
21. More Blood On the Painting [3:07]
22. Brother's Return [4:10]
23. How Old Do You Think I Am? [3:34]
24. Shooting Party Spoiler [4:21]
25. David's Report [4:41]
26. Through the Heart [4:56]
27. Heaven and Hell [1:07]
28. Cast List [:54]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Picture of Dorian Gray
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Angela Lansbury and Steve Haberman
      Stairway to Light
      Quiet Please!
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English (For the Hearing Impaired)
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    please! everyone! don't go on and on about what the movie is a

    please! everyone! don't go on and on about what the movie is about; we already know, more than likely. please tell us if the picture is clear and crisp. is the audio consistant? I mean, does it go up and down? get louder during the music? I've bought 3 copies of this movie and the volume was not acceptable. thank you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 11, 2011

    Wonderful Classic "Cautionary" Tale on Film

    I am rating the movie, not the book. There's never a good comparison because a book can add so many elements and you're visualizing everything in your own mind. But I think this movie does a good job of capturing Oscar Wilde's tale. Here we have Hurt Hatfield (with loads of makeup) as Dorian, a Sociopath and Narcissist. But there's more of course to this story. Dorian sees his Portrait and desires more than anything to always stay as young and beautiful. There's a severe price to pay for youth and beauty (just ask any actor!). I love Angela Lansbury and George Sanders in this movie. Their performances are always superior in anything they do. Sanders' droll but intelligent narration adds to the suspense. I agree with another reviewer that Donna Reed and Peter Lawford are totally miscast and unnecessary. But they always have to add popular (not better) actors to make the movie attractive to customers. I particularly enjoyed the moody scenes where Dorian spirals downward. I thought the final scene was really surprisingly gruesome for it's time. This movie is so much better than anything that has been made before or since.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2010

    Wonderful adaptation, if you liked the novel

    This is one of my favorite novels, and the movie's only selling point for me was that Angela Lansbury is in it (too briefly, though). I was pleasantly surprised at how faithful it is to the spirit of the original. There are some plot changes (and the addition of some tiresome characters played by Donna Reed and Peter Lawford) that were probably necessary to move the story along, but the movie does recreate the mood of the novel. The scene in which the portrait of the debauched Dorian is shown for the first time comes as a shock (even by today's standards)--the use of color only for the portrait was very effective. The actual portrait is now in the Chicago Institute of Art, and has the same horrifying effect.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 17, 2010

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    Posted August 22, 2010

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    Posted October 21, 2011

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    Posted April 16, 2010

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    Posted June 12, 2009

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    Posted June 11, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews