The Picture of Dorian Gray 1945


The Picture of Dorian Gray is an American horror-drama film based on the 1891 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, his only novel. Released in March 1945 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film is directed by Albert Lewin and stars George Sanders as Lord Henry Wotton and Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray. The film was mainly shot in black-and-white, but featured two 3-strip Technicolor inserts of Dorian’s portrait for effect (one of his portrait’s original state, and the second after a major period of degeneracy).


Trivia:

  • The movie is black and white except for four times when Dorian Gray’s picture is shown in color.
  • Ivan Le Lorraine Albright’s famous painting of the decayed Dorian Gray – which took approximately one year to complete – is now owned by the Art Institute of Chicago. Albright’s twin brother Malvin, better known as a sculptor, was also commissioned to create paintings for the film, although his work went unused.
  • The blocks under the table in Dorian’s school room have the initials of the people who die.
  • Years later, a friend of Hurd Hatfield’s bought the painting of young Dorian Gray that was used in the movie at an auction, and gave it to Hatfield.
  • Basil Rathbone campaigned in vain for the part of Lord Henry and believed that his typecasting as Sherlock Holmes was the reason he failed to get it.
  • Donna Reed didn’t enjoy making this movie because she was promised the role played by Angela Lansbury.
  • Already established as a cabaret singer, Angela Lansbury plaintively intoned “Good-bye, Little Yellow Bird” (music and lyrics by C.W. Murphy and William Hargreaves) in this movie. Yet strangely, in her two subsequent MGM films, Miss Lansbury’s singing would be dubbed by two phantom voices: ‘Virginia Reese’ in The Harvey Girls (1946), a full-throttle Technicolor musical; and Doreen Tryden in The Hoodlum Saint (1946), a moody drama containing a couple of standards. In the Dorian Gray feature, Doreen Tryden, ironically, supplied the off-screen voice for Donna Reed’s reprise of “Good-bye, Little Yellow Bird.”
  • Angela Lansbury’s portrayal of innocent Sibyl Vane lost the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress to Anne Revere, who played Miss Lansbury’s stalwart mother in the cherished family adventure, National Velvet (1944), a film in which Miss Lansbury was assigned what she long considered a secondary role.

Picture of Dorian Gray 1945

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Filed under: Horror

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