Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Picture of Dorian Gray


The IMDb lists five versions of this, including one just last year, 2018, and a sixth in development, where they plan to do the old gender switcheroo, making Gray a woman. None of the others seem to amount to anything, but I thought this one was a doozy. Gray is played by the devilishly handsome Hurd Hatfield, and devilish is the key word. There is just something in that face that tells me to not trust this son of a bitch. I know we shouldn’t judge on appearances … but appearances is partly what this story is all about, right? George Sanders plays Gray’s friend. Sanders was a man who has always struck me as so phlegmatic that you could shove a cherry bomb up his ass and detonate it, and he would barely change expression. He could shout “Fire. Fire. Run for your life” and make it sound all too boring for words. Also in the cast are Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury, and Peter Lawford, one of the most talentless actors ever to work in Hollywood.

One very remarkable thing here is the picture itself. It is shown only four times, and though this is a B&W movies, the picture is in color. It is startling, and disorienting, and works well as a way to emphasize how strange the portrait is.