Adaptations Wiki


Robert Tanitch. Oscar Wilde on Stage and Screen. Great Britain, 1999. Print.[]

In this book, Tanitch gives the life and works of Oscar Wilde and more explicitly Tanitch gives each work its adaptations through the years. Among them including the plays and movies adaptations of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Each film and theater adaptation consists of the year performed and the names of the ctors and actresses who performed the characters from the novel. The theater adaptations also include the name of the adaptor and director and also the theater in which the adaptation was performed. Among the names and dates of these adaptations, there are also excerpts from reviews of critics including Sunday Times, Guardian, and the New York Times. These include opinions and praise about the movie or play and how well these adaptations portrayed the novel. Also, for example, certain adaptations such as the 1945 American film The Picture of Dorian Gray includes an analysis of the film and how well the symbols and characterization made the movie a success through its convincing actor and actress portrayals. In each adaptation, the actors who play Dorian Gray and Lord Henry Wotton are reviewed closely in these analyses due to their importance in the novel, such as the attractiveness of the Dorian Gray character and how well the Lord Henry Wotton character corrupts the mind of Dorian Gray. Also, the subject of revealing or non-revealing of the portrait of Dorian Gray seemed to be a main topic for each critic and description of each adaptation marking on its importance to not only the novel but also to the interpretation each adaptation has of what exactly Wilde was trying to depict in the portrait.


Jonathan Alexander. "Dorian Gray In The Twentieth Century: The Politics And Pedagogy Of Filming Oscar Wilde's Novel." Approaches to Teaching the Works of Oscar Wilde. New York, NY: Modern Language Association of America, 2008. 75-82. Print.[]

Alexander discusses the value of pedagogically examining film adaptations of The Picture of Dorian Gray in order to recognize and analyze methods of representing, suppressing, and exploiting homoerotic and hedonistic themes in film as well as to recognize transforming attitudes about homoeroticism and sexuality. The text is targeted toward educators but nevertheless poses provocative questions and exemplifies the way in which three major film adaptations,The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945),The Secret of Dorian Gray (1970), and The Sins of Dorian Gray (1983), each “figures the homoerotic or elides discussion of it" (76).  Alexander argues that each film adaptation of the novel offers insight into contemporaneous attitudes via its depiction of sexuality, and consequently, each discloses a unique moral agenda.  Educators are offered prompts to consider with their students in order to effectively analyze film adaptations of the novel, with special attention to the addition and/or deletion of scenes, characters, and allusions, as well as other changes in presentation. For each of the three selected films, Alexander extensively explores these points and discusses the ostensive attitudes toward sexuality, homosexuality, and hedonism; furthermore, he touches on each film’s implicit moral agenda, thus providing a useful model for further examination of film adaptations ofDorian Gray.  Moreover, it is possible for Alexander’s ideas to be utilized in the examination of adaptations of other works, and likewise, his application of those ideas in the article can also serve in itself as a detailed resource for adaptation study and information about the films.

Kirsten von Hagen. "A Picture is a Picture is a Picture: Filmic Transformations of Oscar Wilde’s Novel: The Picture of Dorian Gray." Old Age and Ageing in British and American culture and literature. University of Colorado at Boulder, (2004): 107-120. Print.[]

Hagen describes each film adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray starting with the Albert Lewin’s Picture of Dorian Gray in 1945 all the way to the French TV film: Le Portrait de Dorian Gray in 1977. Hagen gives many accounts of the symbolism in the book The Picture of Dorian Gray and how each film adaption portrays these symbols and motifs such as eternal love, youthfulness and tragedy. Also Hagen describes the analysis and overview of the films’ themes and cinematic representations of the portrait and what the reflection means. Hagen comes to the ultimate conclusion in her book that no filmmaker will ever be able to capture the true meaning in the classic literature of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Hagen also argues in her book that filmmakers do not appreciate the true art behind this novel and they merely just try to stick with literal terms in the book when defining love and youthfulness. Hagen also argues that portraying the plot and literature of this novel in a satisfactory 21st century romance does not allow the audience to view this as a complex work full of ulterior meanings. This book is very important to the readers and future readers of The Picture of Dorian Gray because it allows them to understand that film adaptations of this novel do not capture the mysterious essence and rather puts it in literal terms.

Stephen Tabachnick. “The Graphic Novel and the Age of Transition: A Survey and Analysis.” English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 53.1 (2010): 3-28. Print.[]

Tabachnick defines and justifies the form of the graphic novel before going on to concisely evaluate a variety of graphic novel adaptations of late 19th and early 20th century texts.  He argues that the graphic novel is an appropriate medium for the adaptation of these texts because it provides more freedom in the portrayal of characters and scenes than does cinema and also allows for an emphasis on the visuality that is characteristic of and vital to late Victorian literature while still facilitating the inclusion of substantial passages of narration and dialogue.  Throughout the article, Tabachnick maintains that a “good adaptation” must be faithful to the original work and also faithful to itself in that it should have a unique visual style but also account for the original author’s intentions (4).  Several pages of the article are dedicated to the comparison of the Marvel Illustrated Roy Thomas/Sebastian Fiumara (2007) and the Ian Edginton/I.N.J. Culbard (2009) adaptations of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Tabachnick analyzes the textual and visual decisions made by the writers and illustrators relative to Wilde’s novel in his discussion of elements such as the characterization of Lord Henry, the presentation of Dorian’s portrait, Harry’s influence over Dorian, and the treatment of panels and panel borders in each of the adaptations.  Although Tabachnick’s article is perhaps limited by his pronounced partiality to the Marvel Illustrated adaptation as well as by his focus on only two of several available adaptations, it is one of the few, if not the only, assessments of graphic novel adaptations of Dorian Gray existing at this time, and it nevertheless provides some valid insight and analysis of the two adaptations in question.