The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

What I Watched Last Night...

Albert Lewin’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s notorious novel The Picture of Dorian Gray has always impressed me for its resolute lack of interest in Hollywood style story-telling. It’s not a question of how “faithful” it is to Wilde’s original. Rather, it is the way the book is used as the excuse for a series of exquisite period recreations that just happen to frame a story about a handsome, dissolute young man (Hurd Hatfield) who never ages. Oh yes, and he has his portrait done.

Arguably, such relative indifference to forward movement and story-telling in favor of glossy sheen is far more fundamentally “faithful” to the author’s ideas than a slavish translation of the novel. In the aesthetic movement of which Wilde was one of the most famous members, style was always more important than content. If the results are a touch precious and brittle, with each shot composed with the same…

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About nefertari25

Portuguese Medical, Court and Conference Interpreter and Translator. With 18 years experience working as a contractor freelance for Municipal, State Courts and Immigration Court Review. Studied at Pontificia Universidade Catolica - PUCRS , Porto Alegre, Brazil with a Bachelor Degree in German Studies and Romance Languages. Studied at Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA Major in English as a second language. Certified Medical Interpreter in the State of Georgia. US. Bridging of the Gap Certification.
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One Response to The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

  1. nefertari25 says:

    “It was his beauty that had ruined him, his beauty and the youth that he had prayed for” (Wilde 242). Contrary to Wilde’s claim in the preface that, “there is no such thing as a moral or immoral book” (vii), this novel has a deep and meaningful purpose. “The moral is that an absence of spirituality, of faith, of regard for human life, separates individuals like Wilde’s Dorian Gray from humanity and makes monsters of them” (West 5831).

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