Saturday, May 12, 2012

AotR: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945/2009)

I’ve always felt that Dorian Gray gets cinematic short-shrift compared to his contemporaries, Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. While everyone else has had brides and sons and run-ins with Abbot and Costello, Dorian has been largely absent from the big screen. In the 60 years that span between the two films I am about to discuss, no significant addendums have been made to Dorian’s tale.

The most remarkable thing about the two films I am about to review is how utterly similar they are, though produced so far apart. Of course, there are the pacing and aesthetic changes that one might expect, and the recent version is able to be more explicit where the original is not. But what is truly remarkable is how both films treated the source material virtually the same, in my opinion, right down to hitting the same marks and making the same mistakes.