21 August 2012 | MartinHafer
Possibly better than the classic 1945 version.
This film was produced by Dan Curtis--the same guy who wrote and produced "Dark Shadows". He also worked on several made for television monster films in the late 60s and 70s--such as a GREAT version of Frankenstein as well as Dracula and Dr. Jekyll. While I wouldn't exactly say "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a monster film in the traditional sense, it was pretty monstrous--mostly because unlike the monster films, Dorian is a guy who CHOOSES evil--it was not chosen for him by fate. I must add that this version might just be better than the classic 1945 film (starring Hurd Hatfield)--and it's well worth your time.
The film stars a relatively unknown actor of the time, Shane Briant. I am sure Briant was chosen because he was amazingly pretty--the sort of guy Gray was supposed to have been. It's the story about a vain young man who makes a passing wish--that as time passes, he remain young and handsome and his portrait would instead age for him. This way, he could live as debauched life as possible and suffer no obvious ill-effects. While Dorian starts off slowly on this road to perdition, as time passes, he becomes a completely hedonistic sociopath where no sin is beyond him. He uses women, does opium, kills and there is a STRONGLY suggested scene of him having sex with a child (though this was handled in a very vague and suggestive manner and you never actually see the kid). All in all, a chilling story made better by excellent acting, nice direction and terrific production values. A horrible picture of human nature run amok.