The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973)

Originally airing on April 22, 1973 on ABC, this Dan Curtis-produced adaption of the Oscar Wilde book was like going back to the Dark Shadows well. After all, Quentin Collins also had a portrait that had kept him immortal. He was born Grant Douglas in 1870 and if you reverse those initials, you get the same ones as Dorian Gray.

It was written by John Tomerlin who was the scribe for the Twilight Zone episode “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” as well as episodes of Thriller. Glenn Jordan directed and you may remember him from the Kim Milford-starring TV movie Song of the Succubus.

Shane Briant (Demons of the MindCaptain Kronos: Vampire HunterFrankenstein and the Monster from HellHawk the Slayer) is the perfect Dorian Gray, at once sure of his actions and the other yearning to escape from his life of sin.

Charles Aidman, who worked for Curtis in The Invasion of Carol Enders and as the narrator of When Every Day Was the Fourth of July, appears, as does William Beckley (Gerard the butler from Dynasty), Nigel Davenport (No Blade of Grass), Vanessa Howard (Some Girls Do), Linda Kelsey (TV’s Lou Grant), a very young Kim Richards (when she wasn’t escaping Witch Mountain or getting shot outside Precinct 13 as a child, she was falling in love with Mr. Gray) and Curtis favorite John Karlen, who played Willie Loomis on Dark Shadows.

This is a mannered take on the story, so don’t expect much excitement. But there are a few really great scenes between Davenport and Briant. It’s worth a watch.

You can see it on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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