Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dorian Gray

I'm somewhat surprised to see that I haven't blogged about The Picture of Dorian Gray before. It's airing overnight at 2:00 AM ET on TCM.

I think one of the reasons I haven't blogged about it before is the fact that it's a cinematic adaptation of a fairly well-known literary work: you're all likely to know the story already. Hurd Hatfield plays Dorian Gray, the Victorian-era playboy who has a portrait of himself made, and discovers that he can remain eternally young and keep acting the playboy, while the portrait takes on the appearance of all the sin he's committing. Along the way, though, it costs him some of his friends and threatens to get him into legal trouble. At the end, of course, there's no way Dorian Gray is going to be able to escape his past, either.

Still, this version of The Picture of Dorian Gray, made with all the glitz that MGM had on offer, is a well-made movie. Hatfield is good to look at; he has a series of lovely girlfriends (notably Angela Lansbury and Donna Reed), and George Sanders gets to deliver all of the good cynical lines that Oscar Wilde wrote in the original novel. The black-and-white cinematography won an Oscar, while there's also a memorable Technicolor shot of the actual portrait, showing just how much sin Dorian has committed.

If you don't feel like staying up until 2;00 AM, you'll be happy to know that The Picture of Dorian Gray has gotten a DVD release. It's well worth watching.

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