The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973)

Article 2338 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-20-2007
Posting Date: 1-6-2008
Directed by Glenn Jordan
Featuring Shane Briant, Nigel Davenport, Charles Aidman

A young man wishes that a portrait made of him would age instead of him. When he embarks on a life of cruelty, sin and debauchery, he finds out that his wish has come true; the picture ages while he remains youthful.

Dan Curtis’s TV adaptations of horror classics were all quite well done, and this one is no exception; it’s literate, well-acted from all concerned, and manages to show a class and a sense of period that is often missing from TV-Movies from the period. Nigel Davenport steals the movie as the cynical but witty Lord Harry Wotton, but that’s to be expected; as the primary exponent of Oscar Wilde’s wit as well as the character who lures Dorian Gray into temptation, it’s the type of character that’s destined to steal the movie. Still, I do feel a bit in the way of disappointment for this one. One reason is over-familiarity with the story; though the story is certainly very good, it’s not one that I find really grows with repeated viewings, and when I watch a version of it anyway, I find myself more enticed with Lord Harry’s bon mots than with the story details and revelations itself. As a result, the movie seemed overlong to me, especially during the second half when Lord Harry rarely appears. I almost found myself wishing that the movie would stray enough from the familiar story just for the sake of variety. As it is, I hope that there will be a fairly large gap between my viewing of this version and my viewing of whatever new version comes along. simply in the hopes that the story will seem a little fresher.



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