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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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Comparison:

Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

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

Warner Archive

Region FREE  - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:45:28 (4% PAL speedup) 1:50:08 1:50:16.610
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

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,916,628,459 bytes

Feature: 34,234,048,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:  PAL

Bitrate:

NTSC

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  English (Dolby Digital 1.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 2017 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2017 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 2070 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2070 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles French, None English, French, Spanish, None English, 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

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Archive
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,916,628,459 bytes

Feature: 34,234,048,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary with Angela Lansbury and historian Steve Haberman

• Stairway to Light (10:22)

• Quiet Please! (7:36)

• Trailer (2:26)

Blu-ray Release Date:
November 11th, 2014
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters:
35

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (November 2014) Warner Archive Region FREE - Blu-ray: We get the classic The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1080P by the Warner Archive. It advances upon their 2008 DVD, perhaps not as much as one would hope - but still improved in the areas of contrast, detail and a smidgeon more information in the frame. Actually the very few color scenes, in HD, tend to look the most superior but overall the texture and slight sense of depth give it a more film-like appearance.

Audio gets an appreciated bump as well via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track at 2017 kbps. The score by Herbert Stothart (Mrs. Miniver) sounds dramatic and adds to the atmosphere - sounding very tight via the uncompressed. There are optional English subtitles on the Region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Same extras as last DVD with rewarding commentary by Angela Lansbury and historian Steve Haberman and the two, Oscar winning, shorts - one a Tom and Jerry cartoon. The Blu-ray also has a trailer.

It remains an intriguing and haunting film experience and, even more-so, in 1080P. Those who have not seen this vintage gem should pick this up, but double-dippers may pause. To each his own. 

***

ON THE DVDs: 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 note 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

 


Menus

 

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


 
 
 

 

Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray Subtitle Sample

 

 

1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


When we first see the portrait - it is in color on all 3 editions...

 

1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - TOP LEFT

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP RIGHT

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

-Blu-ray

Extras:

NTSC / Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

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

Warner Archive

Region FREE  - Blu-ray




 

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