Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1945. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Albert Lewin, based on the novel by Oscar Wilde. Cinematography by Harry Stradling Sr.. Produced by Pandro S. Berman. Music by Herbert Stothart. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters. Costume Design by Valles. Film Editing by Ferris Webster. Academy Awards 1945.
Gorgeously shot gothic horror film based on the equally creepy story by Oscar Wilde. Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield) is a wealthy, snobby bachelor in Victorian London who makes the unholy wish to have his painted portrait do his aging for him while he stays young and vital. Through mysterious means, his wish comes true, and for decades his face and body stay youthful and beautiful while hidden up in his room is a grotesque portrait (shot in Technicolour while the rest of the film is in black-and-white) that has not only taken on his years but his sins as well. The film captures the story as well as the underlying themes of Wilde’s imaginative story while also being a very creepy thriller. Angela Lansbury has a delicious little role as a Cockney maiden whose heart is broken by the seemingly soulless Gray.