SISSYDUDE LOVES: BBC PLAY OF THE MONTH: THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (1976)

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WIKIPEDIA: The Picture of Dorian Gray is a 1976 BBC video-taped production which formed part of the Play of the Month anthology series. It stars Peter Firth, Jeremy Brett, and John Gielgud. A 100-minute adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by John Osborne, it was first broadcast on 19 September 1976. This production was a critical success at the time of its first screening. In 2009 The Times called it the “most Wildean” adaptation of the novel, boasting “perhaps the best Dorian” and mentioning that John Gielgud “steals the show, having of course been given the most beguiling lines by Wilde”.

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This version accentuates the gay subtext of Wilde’s novel more than other versions; e.g. when Dorian wants Alan’s help in the disposal of Basil’s body, it is strongly suggested that the two had a sexual relationship in the past and when Dorian’s seduction attempt fails, he apparently threatens to expose Alan as a homosexual. In the novel and other adaptations the precise nature of Dorian’s hold over Alan is mostly left to the imagination of the reader or viewer, respectively.

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Peter Firth as Dorian Gray
Jeremy Brett as Basil Hallward
John Gielgud as Henry Wotton
Judi Bowker as Sibyl Vane
Nicholas Ball as James Vane
Gillian Raine as Mrs Vane
Nicholas Clay as Alan Campbell
Michael Barrington as Mr Erskine
Mark Dignam as Lord Fermor
Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as Lady Agatha

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