Movie Diary 10/9/2008

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Ivan Albright, 1945). I saw Albright’s painting, not the movie–although the macabre-minded Albright was in fact commissioned to create this wild thing for the 1945 film with Hurd Hatfield. The painting is much scarier than the movie, which (whatever its merits to adult eyes) was one of those disappointingly monster-less features that would show up in the regular horror rotation of “Nightmare Theatre” in childhood. Today I saw the painting at the Art Institute of Chicago (it’s on the wall opposite Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks); when you don’t know you’re about to round a corner and suddenly be confronted by it, the Albright painting is truly startling. And the DVD comes out this week. Coincidence, or warning? I would rather not say.

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