Home     Friday Night Movies      Contents      Photos      Links      Email   

Dorian Gray Video Cover

A Previous Ageless Presentation
at Friday Night Movies:

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Friday the 20th of June
Put luck supper @ 7pm, Movie @ 8pm

I like persons better than principles and persons with no principles better than anything at all.
--Lord Henry Wotton (George Sanders)


USA: 1945 -- Directed by Albert Lewin
Written by Albert Lewin based on the Oscar Wilde novel
Starring George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury, and Peter Lawford

There's only one way to get rid of temptation, and that's to yield to it.
--George Sanders as Lord Henry Wotton

Wonderfully suspenseful and eerily beautiful film based on Oscar Wilde's novel of the same name (well almost, instead of "picture" it's "portrait"). A (then) modern retelling of the Faust legend about an individual who barters his soul in his wish to never grow old. Hurd hatfield is obviously based on the Faust character and is appropriately cool and detached in his performance, ideally cast in the title role as the beautiful young man who makes a supernatural deal with the dark gods to always retain his physical beauty and youth while only the magnificent portrait of himself registers his aging and depravities. Solid performances also by George Sanders as the Mephistopheles character, playing (as his usual best) a jaded, amoral man of the world who leads Dorian astray with his immoral yet compelling, and seemingly reasonable philosophies on life; and Angela Lansbury is particularly touching in her subtle portrayal in the Gretchen counterpart of Sibyl Vane, the dreamy and virtuous vaudeville performer destroyed by Dorian. Peter Lawford and Donna Reed are pretty window dressing here, with their usual passive, bland acting (Reed's Alma in "From Here To Eternity" later on was a pleasant exception). Flowing direction, lovely B&W cinematography, and the beautifully dark and turbulent "Prelude" tune by Chopin make this a must-see horror/fantasy classic that's a solid film version of Wilde's literary masterpiece. This film is also a deeply disturbing and haunting cautionary parable about man's pursuit of earthly pleasures and decadence and how in the end it is no substitute for spiritual nourishment when it comes at the expense of an individual's morality and humanity--for at the end even Dorian tires of his decadence and dies reciting a prayer on his lips.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat and a sitting for your portrait.

Hurd Hatfield and Donna Reed Hurd Hatfield and Angela Lansbury


Won Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White

Nominated for Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Angela Lansbury

Won Gloden Globe Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Angela Lansbury

Won Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation

More awards

Memorable Quotes

Lord Henry Wotton: Forgive me for the intelligence of my argument; I'd forgotten that you were a Member of Parliament.

Lord Henry Wotton: It's an odd thing, but every one who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world.

More quotes

Donna Reed George Sanders


The movie is black and white except for four times when Dorian Gray's picture is shown in color.

More trivia


Continuity: Adrian's chalk sketch of Dorian Gray on the table changes from shot to shot.

More goofs

Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray Angela Lansbury as Sibyl Vane Donna Reed as Gladys Hallward Peter Lawford as  David Stone Donna Reed