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Directed by Albert Lewin
USA 1945

Among the many film adaptations of Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray", this 1945 MGM version is without a doubt the best. With a reputed budget of $2m, this is a film of handsome veneer under which lurks a macabre tale of greed and destruction.

 

Generally underrated version of Oscar Wilde's Faustian tale about a young Victorian gentleman who sells his soul to retain his youth, directed with loving care by the equally underrated Lewin (best known, perhaps, for Pandora and the Flying Dutchman). Hatfield - cool, beautiful, and effortlessly suggesting the corruptibility of Dorian's dark soul - is excellent, though even he is overshadowed by the cynical, epigrammatic brilliance of Sanders as Lord Henry. With elegant fin de siècle sets superbly shot by Harry Stradling, and the ironic Wildean wit understated rather than overplayed, it's that rare thing: a Hollywoodian literary adaptation that both stays faithful and does justice to its source.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 1st, 1945

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DVD Comparison:

Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:45:28 (4% PAL speedup) 1:50:08
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.83 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  PAL

Bitrate:

NTSC

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles French, None English, French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Vidéo

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: March 8th, 2006

Keep Case inside a cardboard box
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary with Angela Lansbury and historian Steve Haberman

• Two Oscar winning shorts

DVD Release Date: October 7th, 2008

Keep Case
Chapters:
28

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Warner's new Portrait of Dorian Gray eclipses the older French edition in quite a few areas.

Contrast is more pure - the PAL edition had a faded sepia tone at times. The, rare, times color is utilized the NTSC edition shows dramatic improvement (see below) with richer, deeper, and more accurate hues. The French edition looks a shade brightened and may be marginally less sharp. The PAL edition may also be horizontally compressed a shade. Overall the new Warner edition is the winner on the visual front.

I didn't not extensive audio differences although one is mono and the other 2.0 channel stereo but for those sensitive to PAL speedup may not the slightly higher tones from Angela Lansbury.

Extras go the way of the new release with a wonderful, relaxed commentary with Angela Lansbury and historian Steve Haberman. The latter sure know his stuff and I'm amazed at how ageless Lansbury sounds with excellent recollection of the film production. It was a real slice of enjoyable listening. There are also two shorts (one a cartoon) and a theatrical trailer. Frankly, I think you'd have to be crazy not to get this for $12. VERY highly recommended!   

 

 

ON THE PAL RELEASE: This dual-layered DVD from France looks exceptionally good. Detail and contrast are quite strong but some artifacts still show through.  Thankfully the French subtitles are totally removable. The mono audio was clear and consistent. There are no extras but this has great value for the price. There is a very real 'Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde' intonation with this classic film and it is quite impacting considering the melodrama and the time it was made. I was pretty blown away by it and am very glad it was recommended to me - I give the same nod to you! 

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

 

(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)


 
 
 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


When we first see the portrait - it is in color on both editions...

 

(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

 

(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 

 


(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


(Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

NTSC

Sound:

-

Extras:

NTSC

Menu:

NTSC

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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