The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this gothic drama based on Oscar Wilde's novel, an innocent young man stares at his portrait and wishes he could look the same forever. As he grows older and pursues a life of vice, his appearance remains unchanged, but his likeness in the portrait ages and reflects his degeneracy.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Oscar Wilde, Albert Lewin
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 21, 2002


as Dorian Gray

as Lord Henry Wotton

as Sibyl Vane

as Gladys Hallward

as Basil Hallward

as David Stone

as James Vane

as Lord George Farmoor

as Mrs. Vane

as Adrian Singleton

as Alan Campbell

as Lady Agatha

as Sir Thomas

as Lady Henry Wotton

as Duchess

as Chairman Malvolio Jo...

as Sir Robert Bentley

as Narrator

as Mr. Erskine

as Mrs. Vandelear

as Young French Woman

as Gladys as a Child

as Parker the Nurse

as Piano Player

as Club Member

as Stage Manager

as Lord Gerald Goodbody

as Lady Alice Goodbody

as Lady Ruxton

as Club Member

as Club Member

as Loader

as Guests at Mayfair Te...

as Guests At Mayfair Te...
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Critic Reviews for The Picture of Dorian Gray

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

With its allusions to Baudelaire, Beardsley and Wilde himself, this motion 'Picture' was meant for an adult audience that could sense the youth-runs-Wilde wickedness perpetrated by the title character offscreen, in the spaces between the frames...

Full Review… | November 13, 2014
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

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.

Full Review… | October 5, 2008
Slant Magazine

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

Full Review… | October 4, 2008
Movie Metropolis

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.

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.

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.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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