The Secret of Dorian Gray
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The film itself is a mod 60's update of Oscar Wilde's famous story (which is better than any theatrical version yet made - the best adaptation is the 1945 version, 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' starring George Sanders IMO), but the swinging sixties London scenario adds a new touch to the tale. Helmut Berger is cast as the foppish pretty boy who never ages, but has a portrait of himself in his attic that doesn't look so good. Swiss sensation Marie Liljedahl ('I, A Woman', 'Inga' and 'The Seduction of Inga') is his aspiring actress girlfriend who is eventually cast aside as Dorian falls prey to those who gradually corrupt his morals as he climbs a social ladder of conceit and decadence. Herbert Lom is his benefactor and initial prime source of corruption, but soon Dorian becomes his own monster, devouring well-known Euro-lovelies Margaret Lee and Maria Rohm, among other various vixens clamoring for a dalliance with Dorian.Read more ›
Aside from updating Oscar Wilde's classic to 1960's London, director Massimo Dallamano doesn't stray too far from the source material, although it may seem like it at times. Helmut Berger, perhaps the most beautiful man ever committed to celluloid, certainly looks the part of the dissolute and ruthless rake, and his performance as Dorian is credible, as well. His descent from callow youth into real evil doesn't seem too difficult a journey with the estimable Herbert Lom (Peter Sellers' nemesis in "The Pink Panther" films) urging him on every step of the way. Marie Lilljedahl makes a lovely impression as the unfortunate actress, Sybil Vane, whose brief screen time is spent, largely, undressed. A larger cast of European stalwarts move in and out of Dorian's orbit (and bed) before he gets his comeuppance in the final scene, which divulges from Wilde's novel.
The problems remaining with the DVD are the problems contained within the movie, itself. At 93 minutes, it still seems too long.Read more ›
The print is first rate color and anamorphic, and absolutely tack sharp and at a bargain price to boot ($12-$13). I have bought other Raro Video DVDs and their product merits to be rated right up there with Criterion.
The film itself is a fun 70's romp through a world of "decadence." It still keeps the Victorian belief that sexual promiscuity is "evil." Berger is perfectly cast as the hedonistic Dorian, while Herbert Lom (as usual) steals every scene he's in as the painter of the infamous portrait. The leading lady does not fare as well in a role that has always proven to be quite thankless, while Italian legend, Isa Miranda, shows up to play an "older" rich predator, dripping in diamonds and fancy rags. The film was quite "scandalous" in its day, but by now has lost that "shocking" sting.
The DVD presents this opus in two languages, Italian (the main track), and in English. Since the film takes place mostly in London and the cast is actually speaking English, I found the Italian track distracting, so I switched to English and it worked better for me.
A highly recommended purchase.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been searching for this movie for 25 years. Now that I have it ,I'm Simply in ecstasy! I love Helmut Berger and he was simply breathtaking here. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I can't relieve give this a proper review because the I didn't get to see at least 1/4 of the film; as mentioned by a few others there's a problem with the disk that is still to be... Read morePublished 7 months ago by LuXVenetus
Be aware that they are still selling deffective copies of this DVD in Amazon.com. As other users commented my DVD's image frozens at 1h10m running time. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Angelo Durand
Directed by onetime Sergio Leone cinematographer Massimo Dallamano, Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde’s Victorian Gothic provocatively updated to Swinging Sixties London at the peak of... Read morePublished on March 22, 2013 by K. Anderson
Great drama/horror movie with some racy implied sexual situations, that are very tame compared to the current crop of sexy movies. Its well acted and looks good. Read morePublished on May 23, 2012 by grafdog
I recently purchased this dvd.It is a very good quality video transfer.The picture is clear and crispy.I am a fan of the 60s & 70s cinemas.Published on September 21, 2011 by ahmad