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The Picture Of Dorian Gray

review by Zach B.

 

 

Not Rated

Running Time: 110 minutes

Starring: George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury, Peter Lawford, Lowell Gilmore, Richard Fraser

Based upon the novel by: Oscar Wilde

Screenplay and Directed by: Albert Lewin

 

Studio: Warner Bros.

Retail Price: $19.97

Features: Audio Commentary with Angela Lansbury and Historian Steve Haberman, "Stairway to Light" Short, "Quiet Please!" Short, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Mono, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Chapter Selection (14 Chapters)

Released: October 7th, 2008

 

 


"The Picture Of Dorian Gray" is presented in 1.33:1 full screen, just as it was screened back in 1945. The image does look its age in some regard, as there are plenty of scratches, dirt pieces and all sorts of blemishes. There is also some noise on the transfer, and things can be a bit grainy and faded at times. But even with those instances, the picture quality is in more-than-decent shape, and often does look pretty sharp and refined, with very good detail all around. The black and white cinematography also looks rather nice and pretty bold. This is probably the best the film has looked in years, if not decades. Certainly not bad for a film over 60.

 


The English Mono track is the only included track, and it sounds pretty spiffy. There are no audio defects, or distortions, such as hisses and pops. Everything comes through very clear and blends together well in a straightforward track: the dialogue, the music and a few sound effects. Fidelity is a bit on the low side, but this track still pleases in the long run.

Subtitles in English, French and Spanish are available on the disc, while English closed captions are available through your television.

 


The main goodie is an Audio Commentary with Angela Lansbury and Historian/Screenwriter Steve Haberman. This is a very engrossing and informative commentary, with Haberman leading the way. Haberman certainly knows his stuff, pointing out plenty of tidbits that covers the golden era of when "Dorian Gray" was made as well as the film itself, but he also branches out into other productions the filmmakers worked on and their personal lives. Lansbury, who still sounds quite elegant and lively, chimes in with her own stories of the actors and filmmakers, stories from working on the film, and even a bit on her career. Haberman prompts Lansbury at times, but overall, this is a well-rounded conversation with plenty of give and take. Always interesting and entertaining, this is a must listen. (And really, they don't make them like they use to... and I just don't mean the film.) 

Also on the disc are two Shorts: the live-action "Stairway To Light," and the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Quiet Please!" The film's original Theatrical Trailer is also included.

 


This is a nice DVD release of a classic, marked by a fantastic commentary that features historian Steve Haberman and Angela Lansbury. The film itself looks and sounds pretty good, while the two included shorts (and trailer) are clever touches. This is a worthy purchase if you enjoy classic cinema.