Thursday, November 29, 2018

1961 "Dorian Gray" film has unusual Dark Shadows connections

Well, THIS is a pleasant surprise. The Museum of Broadcast Communications has a 1961 television adaption of The Picture of Dorian Gray that's going to be of great interest to Dark Shadows fans, and not for the reasons you might think.

The Breck Golden Showcase production stars George C. Scott and Susan Oliver star, with John Fraser playing the title role. Curiously, Fraser also appeared in 1960's The Trials of Oscar Wilde, a film about Gray's author. Closer to home, he was also in the Doctor Who story "Logopolis" opposite Matthew Waterhouse, who has since become a regular face around Collinsport thanks to the Dark Shadows audiodramas from Big Finish. It's a small world.

And it's smaller than you think, because The Picture of Dorian Gray also features Jonathan Frid in a bit part! Dick Smith (who helped add a few hundred years via latex appliance to Frid on Dark Shadows) was one of the make-up artists on the film and, while he's not credited on IMDb, Dark Shadows composer Robert Cobert provides some of the movie's music. You'll absolutely know it when you hear it.

For added weirdness, Frid plays an actor playing "Murcitio" in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet in this movie. It was a play he was appearing in for real just two months before joining the cast of Dark Shadows. The Museum of Broadcast Communications refers to his appearance in The Picture of Dorian Gray as a "blink or you'll miss it" role and they're not kidding. Keep an eye out around the 14 minute mark and you can spot Frid as one of the actors leaving the stage during a confrontation by Star Trek alumni Robert Walker Jr. and Susan Oliver.

Here's the catch: The movie is only available online until the end of November. No matter when you read this, that doesn't give you much time to act. Luckily, the Museum of Broadcast Communications is allowing visitors to download the film, which will let you watch the hour-long adaption (it includes all of the original commercials from the broadcast) at your leisure.

You can find the film HERE.

H/T to Darren Gross!

UPDATE: Aaaaaaaaand it's gone. Someone at the MBC jumped the gun and replaced all of November's downloads with December's ... even though today is Nov. 30.

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