The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
Thursday, July 3rd
The search for the fountain of youth is something that many searched, wished, and paid for. This is the cautionary tale about the handsome and impressionable Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield). Upon viewing the painting which would forever be a record of his youth, Dorian wishes for he himself to remain young and the painting to grow old. To Dorian’s disbelief this wish becomes reality, yet along with aging the painting displays the damage of his indiscretions (murder, drug use, and sex). For decades, Dorian is able to revel in his forever youth with no consequences for his bad behavior. He has discovered the secret to cheating death. However, Dorian finds shame in the painting which is the proof of his degenerate ways, and could prove to be his downfall.
Primarily filmed in black and white, the infamous painting of Dorian is shown in Technicolor. The painting was completed and altered during filming by Ivan Albright who was known for his paintings of the macabre and grotesque. The painting becomes a silent character in the film, changing in scenes as an effect of Dorian’s actions. The painting now hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.
With this film, Angela Lansbury would receive her second of three Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. She would however, receive a Golden Globe for this film. The film would also receive an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
Images from: The Picture of Dorian Gray Dir. Albert Lewin. MGM 1945. DVD.