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Picture of Dorian Gray

George Sanders , Hurd Hatfield , William Hanna , Albert Lewin    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maintains the essence of the story Nov. 22 2007
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
"I sent my soul through the invisible,
Some letter of that after-life to spell;
And by and by my soul returned to me,
And answered, `I myself an Heaven and Hell'"
- "The Rubaiyat" Omar Khayyam

Dorian Gray, with the help of Lord Henry and Basel's painting, realizes that youthful looks are everything and proceeds (in the presence of an ancient Egyptian cat god) to sell his soul in exchange for letting the portrait grow old while he stayed youthful looking.

Although the story was slightly modified for the sake of the media and the long diatribes were cut out, Albert Lewin - Director / Writer (screenplay) left in the most important dialogs directly quoted from the book.

The movie itself is in black and white with some color plates of the portrait included.

One of the biggest surprises is that Angela Lansbury plays Dorian's love, Sibyl Vane; she looks like a little china doll as she sings "Little Yellow Bird". Later Lansbury will repeat this performance in the series "Murder She Wrote".

Even though Hurd Hatfield plays Dorian, George Sanders with his snotty sounding voice steals the show as Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian's amoral sounding friend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral Leprosy July 3 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
When you think of expressionism in the movies you tend to think of the wierd angles, lighting and cutting of the German directors of the 20's and 30's. But Albert Lewin's marvelous movie adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel makes the same kind of other-wordly impact with an amazing and unsettling exaggeration of Victorian manners, morals, and architecture. The icy detachment of Gray and his friends from any emotional involvement with their surroundings heightens tremendously the impact on us of the genuinely human gestures and feelings of the other characters. This Faustian parable about a man and his graven image probably reflects Wilde's torment over whether he had sold his own soul to become an international funnyman. The whole cast is a standout but it's Lewin's picture and a total success.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pecture of Dorion Gray April 3 2009
Anything written by Oscar Wilde is worthy of at least one Movie. This story is loaded with the wit and wisdom of the great playwright. Unfortunately, like one other great Englishman he died in ignominity on a hillside in Paris near the Moulin Rouge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Near Perfection Dec 31 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Handsome, young and morally corrupt Dorian Gray has his portrait painted. Soon after, under the influence of the incorrigible Lord Henry Wotton, he betrays his fiancee, leading to her suicide. As the years pass Dorian does not age but evidence of his narcissim are apparent in his portrait which grows uglier with each transgression. His mysterious behavior and ageless appearance begin to attract suspicion. This is one of my favorite stories by Oscar Wilde. This movie has everything that a good movie should have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite extraordinary Sept. 24 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This really is a quite extraordinary film - yes, Hurd Hatfield as the eponymous Dorian Grey is wooden, but in a sense this just adds to the drama. His wooden acting lends a sinister atmosphere to his every move, gesture and feeling. This is amply set off by the other actors, who give their all - a distinct contrast to Dorian's flat, almost logical way of carrying on.
As an Englishman, I find the inclusion of American actors somewhat strange - I assume this was something to do with the film getting finance, but don't let the accents put you off. All the cast give their all and to great effect.
The direction is immaculate - look for the little details of lighting, the humble people in the background in many of tyhe scenes going about their everyday duties, everything has a symbolism, and the more you watch this film, the more you will get out of it.
A masterpiece - a must-see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I can only second what almost every other reviewer has said about this movie. The casting is impeccable (and to those who say Hurd Hatfield's performance is wooden, please bear in mind that Dorian is a 19th century upper class Brit, not a young Jerry Lewis) -- Angela Lansbury is heart-breakingly hopeful and fragile and Hurd Hatfield is so creepy it's unreal (watch the scene where he panics that his secret will be revealed by the portrait's artist and DON'T LET YOUR GAZE LEAVE HIS EYES -- it'll really get you!). Don't bother with any other "Dorian" movies; this is THE one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LITTLE YELLOW BIRD... July 15 2002
Format:VHS Tape
That's the name of the little ditty that 20 year-old Angela Lansbury chirps in this classic exursion into the macabre. Dorian Gray, a young man living in Victorian London, has his portrait painted by an artist named Basil Hallward, himself fascinated by Gray's youthful innocence. Egged on by the amoral Lord Henry, Gray manages to keep himself youthful by giving up his soul, and proceeds to indulge in a life of selfish hedonism and cruelty while through the years his face stays unnaturally young...While not a totally successful transition of Wilde's wickedly elegant novel - it's too glum and slow paced - there's much to admire in this 1945 version of the bizarre theme. Hatfield was an inspired choice for the title role, combining his handsome, ethereal face with his cool, aloof manner which perfectly suited Wilde's corrupted aristocrat. George Sanders is perfection personified playing the acidly witty and cynical Lord Henry Wotton and Angela Lansbury is memorable as the demure caberet singer Sybil Vane who meets a dark fate...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Picture of Dorion Gray
It was many years since I had watched this film. Never thought I'd find it for me to have. It was wonderful to have found it and for the service of when I purchased and delivered... Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2012 by Silvana Rossi
2.0 out of 5 stars What the...?
We had to watch this movie in my English class and it totally sucked! The music was corny and i couldn't tell what the hell was going on. Read more
Published on April 21 2004 by Nikki
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
This movie was simply dreadful. Hurd Hatfield may be the most wooden actor ever to star in a movie. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2002 by Michael Hurwitz
1.0 out of 5 stars Is it I? Is it I? Come reply!
Is it only I who think this movie is awful? I couldn't even finish it. About forty minutes from the end I just decided I couldn't waste forty minutes of my life finishing this... Read more
Published on July 9 2002 by Cuckoo Pine Nut
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film that needs a DVD version
This is a wonderful film, filled with atmosphere and wonderful actors. George Sanders is outstanding as Lord Henry Wotton. Never have I heard someone make evil sound so appealing. Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2001 by S. P. Oconnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful and modern retelling of the Faustian legend
Wonderfully suspenseful and eerily beautiful film based on Oscar Wilde's novel of the same name (well almost, instead of "picture" it's "portrait"). Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2001 by LazyLegs
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