In contemporary London, a beautiful and rich young man, Dorian Gray, loves Sybil Vane, an aspiring actress; thanks to her, he's momentarily less self-centered. He's also sitting for a portrait painted by his friend, Basil Hallward; when it's done, Dorian complains he will grow old while the painting stays unchanged. On the same night, he slaps Sybil and sends her away, then accepts the seductive offer of a party's hostess to sleep with her. The next day, the painting looks slightly older as he becomes corrupt and amoral, capable of destroying many lives inclusive Sybil's. In horror and fascination, Dorian hides away the portrait and continues a life of degradation. Over time, as the portrait becomes hideous, he's unchanged by debauched life; finally, he and Basil face the painting.