The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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:
NR
Genre:
Classics , Drama , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

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Cast

Hurd Hatfield
as Dorian Gray
George Sanders
as Lord Henry Wotton
Angela Lansbury
as Sibyl Vane
Donna Reed
as Gladys Hallward
Lowell Gilmore
as Basil Hallward
Peter Lawford
as David Stone
Richard Fraser
as James Vane
Reginald Owen
as Lord George Farmoor
Lydia Bilbrook
as Mrs. Vane
Morton Lowry
as Adrian Singleton
Douglas Walton
as Alan Campbell
Mary Forbes
as Lady Agatha
Robert Greig
as Sir Thomas
Lisa Carpenter
as Lady Henry Wotton
Moyna MacGill
as Duchess
Billy Bevan
as Chairman Malvolio Jones
Miles Mander
as Sir Robert Bentley
Cedric Hardwicke
as Narrator
William Stack
as Mr. Erskine
Natalie Draper
as Mrs. Vandelear
Renee Carson
as Young French Woman
Carol Diane Keppler
as Gladys as a Child
Emily Massey
as Parker the Nurse
Jimmy Conlin
as Piano Player
Joe Yule
as Stage Manager
Rex Evans
as Lord Gerald Goodbody
Audrey Manners
as Lady Alice Goodbody
Renie Riano
as Lady Ruxton
Toby Doolan
as Club Member
Sam Harris
as Club Member
Lee Powell
as Loader
Bill Patton
as Loader
Mary Benoit
as Guests at Mayfair Tea
Elyse Brown
as Guests At Mayfair Tea
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Critic Reviews for The Picture of Dorian Gray

All Critics (11)

Stradling demonstrates his mastery of deep-focus photography and scenic composition...

Full Review… | May 13, 2016
Playback:stl

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

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.

Full Review… | June 23, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Picture of Dorian Gray

½

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
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.

Devon Bott
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
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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