The Picture of Dorian Gray appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Warner usually offer fine presentations of their archival films, and Picture provides a stellar image.
Sharpness consistently appeared positive. Little to no softness marred the movie, so the majority of the movie demonstrated good clarity. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement remained absent. With a nice layer of grain, digital noise reduction wasnít a concern, and the picture lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear in this clean transfer.
Though the vast majority of the flick was black and white, it did come with some Technicolor inserts. These showed the titular portrait on two brief occasions. In those shots, the colors were positive and displayed suitable warmth.
As for the black and white side of things, I thought the movie provided clean, vivid contrast. Blacks appeared dark and firm, and shadows were satisfying. If any issues marred the movie, these escaped me, as I thought Picture fared exceedingly well.
I thought the DTS-HD MA monaural audio of Picture was perfectly adequate for its age. It didnít exceed expectations for a mix of its era, but the audio was more than acceptable. Speech lacked edginess. The lines werenít exactly natural, but they seemed distinctive and without problems.
Effects were a little flat, but they showed no distortion and displayed acceptable definition. Music was pretty lively given its age, as the score sounded reasonably bright and concise. No background noise was noticeable. All together, I found little about which to complain, as the soundtrack aged well.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2008 DVD? Audio was similar, as the lossless DTS-HD MA mix couldnít do much to improve the nearly 70-year-old source.
On the other hand, the Blu-rayís picture demonstrated terrific improvements. As expected, sharpness seemed tighter and better defined, and I also saw stronger blacks and contrast. In addition, the Blu-ray boasted a cleaner print and lacked the DVDís source flaws. This became an enormous step up in visuals.
The Blu-ray repeats the DVDís extras, and the main attraction comes from an audio commentary with actor Angela Lansbury and film historian Steve Haberman. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They discuss cast and crew, performance-related topics, the source novel and its adaptation, and a few other issues connected to the film.
Lansbury and Haberman combine to make this an effective commentary. Haberman gives us good background notes, while Lansbury adds a nice first-person perspective to the piece. The two of them interact well and create an informative and enjoyable chat.
Along with the filmís trailer, we locate two period shorts. These include the live-action Stairway to Light (10:22) and the animated Quiet Please! (7:36). In Light, we get a quick biography of Phillippe Pinel and his pioneering work with the mentally disturbed. The piece is too short and superficial to turn into much, but it tells an interesting story.
As for Quiet, it gives us a Tom and Jerry cartoon. The cat and mouse fight so much that they distract a bulldog from his nap. The dog threatens Tom with pain if another interruption occurs, so naturally Jerry does his best to taunt his feline adversary. Iíve never been a big T&J fan, and nothing here changes that, though the relentless violence does become amusing in a non-PC way.
The Picture of Dorian Gray presents a mixed bag of a movie. On one hand, it boasts a fascinating story and some good supporting performances. On the other, the lead actor seems too bland, and the film tells its tale in a lackluster manner. The Blu-ray provides excellent visuals along with acceptable audio and a few useful bonus materials. Iím not wild about the movie, but I feel totally satisfied with its presentation on Blu-ray.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY