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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Screening on Film
Directed by Albert Lewin.
With George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield.
US, 1945, 35mm, color and b&w, 110 min.

The title character of Oscar Wilde's novel is a narcissistic young man who, upon having his portrait painted, vows to stay as young and beautiful as the picture. He gets his wish but at a terrible price. Every bit the aesthete Wilde was, Lewin creates the perfect dreamlike ambience for this strange story out of foggy British locales, Angela Lansbury's haunting renditions of the song Little Yellow Bird, and the monotonal acting of Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray. With a mise-en-scène that mixes the surreal and the expressionist, the film suggests more violence than it shows, in the style of the great Val Lewton.

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Beyond Good & Evil: The Films of Albert Lewin

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