I’ve just had the pleasure of watching the 1945 film ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ and it was wonderful.
This film brought back memories of the old black and white films and how the directors played with lighting and music to enhance the thrill or scare of the moment. There was no need for special effects and it makes me wonder, do we really need them now to entertain us?
One scene in particular was when the camera panned onto Dorian Gray played by Hurd Hatfield after he had stabbed Basil Haward (Lowell Gilmore). The light was swinging violently and each time it swung in Dorian Gray’s direction, his shadow was cast upon the wall behind him. It looked so menacing and it is cinematography like this that inspires my photography.
Everything about this film is wonderful and Gothic. The headboard of Dorian Gray’s bed was wonderfully carved. What I would give for a bed like that!
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dorian Gray was awestruck with his painted portrait and he wished that he would remain eternally youth. Dorian’s wish was granted, thanks to some sort of statue of a God cat, so instead of him growing old, the painting did. It showed all of Dorian Gray’s ugly sins and showed him for the monster he became with the help of ‘Lord Henry Wotton’ (George Sanders).
For more information about this film, visit the IMDB website.
It’s a fantastic story and I wonder what the new release will be like.
Will it live up to this 1945 version?
I guess it will as it will have special effects to enhance it and I suppose it is good to have effects like these for new generations to see, but I think it is a shame that some directors don’t use old lighting techniques to stir our imagination.
I strongly recommend you to watch this version though and see if it captures your imagination like it did mine.
Oh finally, I can’t get over how pretty Angela Lansberry (Murder She Wrote) was back then.