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The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 3 March 1945 (USA)
A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director:

Albert Lewin

Writers:

Albert Lewin (screen play), Oscar Wilde (based upon the novel by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Sanders ... Lord Henry Wotton
Hurd Hatfield ... Dorian Gray
Donna Reed ... Gladys Hallward
Angela Lansbury ... Sibyl Vane
Peter Lawford ... David Stone
Lowell Gilmore ... Basil Hallward
Richard Fraser ... James Vane
Douglas Walton ... Allen Campbell
Morton Lowry ... Adrian Singleton
Miles Mander ... Sir Robert Bentley
Lydia Bilbrook Lydia Bilbrook ... Mrs. Vane
Mary Forbes ... Lady Agatha
Robert Greig ... Sir Thomas
Moyna MacGill ... Duchess
Billy Bevan ... Malvolio Jones - Chairman
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Storyline

In 1886, in Victorian London, the corrupt Lord Henry Wotton (George Sanders) meets the pure Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield) posing for talented painter Basil Hallward (Lowell Gilmore). Basil paints Dorian's portrait and gives the beautiful painting and an Egyptian sculpture of a cat to him, while Henry corrupts his mind and soul, telling him that Dorian should seek pleasure in life. Dorian wishes that his portrait could age instead of him. Dorian goes to a side show in the Two Turtles in the poor neighborhood of London, and he falls in love with singer Sibyl Vane (Dame Angela Lansbury). Dorian decides to marry her and tells Lord Henry, who convinces him to test the honor of Sibyl. Dorian Gray leaves Sibyl and travels abroad, and when he returns to London, Lord Henry tells him that Sibyl committed suicide for love. Throughout the years, Dorian's friends age while he is still the same, but his picture discloses his evilness and corruptive life. Can he still have salvation, or is his soul ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Perfection of the outside. Murderous corruption within. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Picture of Dorian Gray See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donna Reed didn't enjoy making this movie because she was promised the role of Sibyl Vane. See more »

Goofs

Adrian's chalk sketch of Dorian Gray on the table changes from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

Lord Henry Wotton: correcting the current: "I choose my friends carefully.", with the following: "I always choose my friends for their good looks, and my enemies for their good intellects. Man cannot be too careful in his choice of friends."
See more »

Alternate Versions

Older TV prints of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" ran entirely in black-and-white, and did not show the painting in colour. Most current TV broadcasts now show the proper colour inserts. According to some sources, the final shot of the film was also originally shown in colour, but all extant prints show the final shot in black-and-white. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

La Ci Darem La Mano
(excerpt) (uncredited)
(from "Don Giovanni") by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung a capella by George Sanders
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An ingenious horror classic
17 December 2004 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Based on a story by Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray tells the story of a man that sells his soul for eternal youth. After having his portrait done, Dorian Gray, under the influence of the eloquent Lord Henry Wotton, wishes for the picture to age instead of him so that he may be blessed with eternal youth. After the death of his wife-to-be, Dorian embarks on a life of pleasure and sins, which don't affect the man in the slightest, but leaves it mark on the portrait which descends into a horrid impression of the handsome young man it's portraying...

This film is fantastically well put together. The acting, directing and writing are all stellar, which make this film one pleasant viewing indeed. The real plaudits for this movie, however, go to the writer of the original novel; Oscar Wilde. The story itself is ingenious. Of course, the idea of selling one's soul had been done before (the German legend, Faust, springs to mind instantly), but never in this way. The portrait itself is a genius idea and it allows us to see the man and the sin as different things. However, through it's ending; it also allows the audience to see that the two are linked, and overall giving a good commentary on body, soul and sin. The story has obvious themes of vanity and the lust for eternal youth entwined within it, both of which are sins in themselves. The main character of Dorian Gray is a man that is a victim of influence, and we can feel for him in that way; but he's also an ugly sinner on the inside, making the audience hate him. This is a strange situation for an audience to be in, and in the end; all that's left for him is indifference.

The film moves slowly, but this is definitely to it's advantage as it allows us to get to know the characters, and if it wasn't for that the horror wouldn't be able to work as it needs our emotional impact to function. The horror in the story is rather subdued, but this is one of the most horrific tales ever told. I think most people will agree that this kind of horror - the brooding, personal kind - is much more horrifying than anything that men with knives and any amount of jumpy moments can muster.


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