THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
1945, Warner Brothers, 110 min, Dir: Albert Lewin

In the definitive screen adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s sole novel, Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield) falls under the corrupting influence of Lord Henry Wotton (George Sanders) and makes a Faustian bargain: Gray’s portrait will age instead of him. Angela Lansbury is a standout as the woman whose heart is broken by the titular narcissist. This macabre fantasy was an Oscar winner for Harry Stradling Sr.’s cinematography (which features shocking flashes of color).


GUYS AND DOLLS
1955, Park Circus/MGM, 150 min, USA, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Frank Loesser’s Broadway hit, inspired by Damon Runyon’s tales of Times Square hoods and gamblers, becomes one of the 1950s’ most enjoyable musicals in the hands of director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Needing $1,000 to rent space for his floating crap game, Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) bets Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando, in his only song-and-dance role) that he can find a girl immune to Masterson’s charms – specifically a strait-laced missionary (a wonderful Jean Simmons). “Luck Be a Lady” is just one of the great songs here.


HELLO, DOLLY!
1969, 20th Century Fox, 146 min, USA, Dir: Gene Kelly

This irresistible film adaptation - from one of Jerry Herman’s finest musicals - features the fabulous Barbra Streisand in a kick-out-the-jams performance as matchmaker Dolly Levi, furiously working to make marriages while trying to snag bachelor Walter Matthau for herself. Staged with gusto by dancing legend-turned-director Gene Kelly, and featuring a wonderful supporting cast including Tommy Tune, Michael Crawford and jazz legend Louis Armstrong (whose version of the title song is itself worth the price of admission!).


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