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The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

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Release Date: Jan 1, 1945 Wide

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 5,615

My Rating

Movie Info

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

May 21, 2002

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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (1) | DVD (4)

The Picture of Dorian Gray isn't awful, though it's certainly an instance in which an outright debacle would have made a much more interesting film.

October 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

...dramatic, elegant, witty, thoughtful, and terrifically photographed.

October 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Excellent adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic story. Watch for the creative use of color in the otherwise B&W production.

September 2, 2005
Flipside Movie Emporium

Sterling adaptation of Oscar Wilde's 1891 novel about a handsome young Victorian aristocrat.

June 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Literate and classy horror, brilliantly directed and played.

June 23, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Picture of Dorian Gray

This is the film version of Oscar Wilde's classic tale about a man whose physical appearance remains the same despite his depravity.
Finally, Wilde's tale is adapted faithfully. In this film version, Dorian is not a magical superhero/villain a la The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or a horribly corrupt murderer a la Dorian Gray. He is instead appropriately narcissistic and tortured. Within Hurd Hatfield's performance is a healthy conscience that manifests in his eyes but not the rest of his physiognomy. The real improvement comes in the performance of George Sanders who captures Wilde's Lord Henry perfectly. Dorian Gray with Colin Firth posited that depravity was the logical extension of Lord Henry's philosophy, but Sanders's performance correctly captures what Wilde might have said: that fun is the logic extension of Lord Henry's philosophy. There's a big jump between a philosophy that deifies the aesthetic and a philosophy that finds beauty in murder. This seems like an obvious point, but of the adaptations I've seen, only director Albert Lewin seems to understand it.
Overall, if you really hate reading but still want to see a version of Oscar Wilde's novel, then see this one.
October 1, 2013
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Oscar Wilde's famous novel is brought to life in this pretty faithful adaptation by director/writer Albert Lewin. Some of the homosexual subtext has been toned down, and Dorian's spiraling descent into depravity is alluded to so vaguely that one could ascribe just about anything to it. I wasn't a fan of the novel, mainly because I found the philosophies and witticisms to be meaningless. For example (and just to pull something off the top of my head), "it's the man who never thirsts whose cup is always full". I just made that up, it means nothing, yet could mean something if someone bothered to think about it. There is a character in the book spouting off such witticisms every third sentence, and it becomes grating after a while. Anyway, while the film was very keen on the superficial aspects of re-creating the story, I don't think it touched on the true heart of the novel, the fear of lost youth or the nihilistic approach to life that Dorian is led to by an evil mentor (all the more evil that he corrupts Dorian just for simple fun, rather than any ulterior motive). I suppose it's a lot to expect from 1940s hollywood. In any event, what we have here is a completely passable version of Dorian Gray.
April 20, 2011
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

A solid adaptation of the novel, a bit dated and slugish in it's pacing. Special mention to the fully colored painting the movie wisely uses as the only image of color, truly creepy stuff.
November 3, 2010
DragonEyeMorrison
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

An interesting story, it makes me want to read the book, to see if it's better than the movie.
October 18, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

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