Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Picture Of Dorian Gray (1945)

Starring George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury, Peter Lawford
Directed by Albert Lewin
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A young man desirous of eternal youth, wishes for his portrait to age instead of himself, and finds his wish not only comes true, but his evil deeds thereafter are also reflected in his portrait.   

Not completely faithful as an adaptation of the famous Oscar Wilde novel, this effort still comes fairly close, with much of Wilde's witty prose absorbed into the screenplay, and benefits from fine casting, with Sanders and Lansbury bringing standout performances.  It's hard to say whether Hatfield, as Dorian Gray, gives a performance that captures the soulless evil of the character well enough.   He doesn't have many opportunities with much of Gray's vile deeds only alluded to in the screenplay, but a more accomplished actor may have made his on-screen sins more impactful.  Still, this is a worthwhile and well-filmed production.

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