We’ve got a pair of interesting genre films from the 1940s today. We’ll start with Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, the 1940 serial that stands as the high water mark in Buster Crabbe’s run on the character, and for those familiar with Flash only through Sam Jones and Queen, this effort makes for delightfully retro fun.
Five years later on the same day, Albert Lewin’s The Picture of Dorian Gray opened in U.S. theaters. It’s considered the definitive screen version of Oscar Wilde’s famous story about a young man who remains youthful and innocent while his portrait reflects the sins of an increasingly depraved life. Hurd Hatfield stars as Dorian along with a very young Angela Lansbury in one of her first screen roles. It also features a really cool gimmick: the portrait (which gets truly horrific towards the end) is shown in color, while the rest of the movie is in black and white.