"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.