Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)


Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Romance


Albert Lewin



Hurd Hatfield, George Sanders, Lowell Gilmore, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury, Peter Lawford, Richard Fraser, Douglas Walton, Morton Lowry, Miles Mander, Lydia Bilbrook, Mary Forbes, Robert Greig, Moyna Macgill, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Billy Bevan, Cedric Hardwicke, George Sanders


Morally corrupt Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield) keeps his youthful beauty while a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.


I've recently found out about this film - thank you, Birgit - and since I love Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" I decided to give it a try, and I loved it because Lewin's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is an elegant, charming, thoughtful adaptation of a classic masterpiece.

There's isn't much to say about the story, and I'm assuming that everyone already knows it. What I am going to praise instead is the wonderful job director Albert Lewin did here. He had some kind of sensibility that perfectly suited the source material, but most important, he provided a beautiful, yet creepy direction that allows the film to not deface before the novel.

The dark atmosphere of mystery is wonderfully enhanced by the stunning black and white photography and a wonderful use of shadows.

The most fascinating thing about the film however has to do with the casting of Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray. I've read the novel several times so I do know what kind of man Dorian Gray is supposed to be and how he is supposed to look, but that casting is what gives the film a boost on the horror side.

The use of an handsome man as the monster, rather than some ugly, deformed creature is great to portray the wickedness concealed by the outer beauty that deceives everyone with a dreamy, holy appearance.

And of course the acting is excellent with Hard Hatfield giving a quite remarkable portrait of Gray, and George Sanders stealing every scene he's in as Lord Henry. The other members of the cast also do a great job.


  1. Yippee! I am so glad you enjoyed this film and love your review. George Sanders does steal every scene and Angela Landsbury is quite convincing as a naive girl who is taken advantage of by Dorian. Hurd Hatfield has that creepy good looks.

  2. Great review! Definitely something I would check out :)

  3. I actually haven't read this book yet but it's one I really want to read and pretty high up on my list of promising sounding books. I am glad you could discover the film adaption and then also love this one like you do with the book. Sounds like they did a splendid job with it.