This production was a critical success at the time of its first screening. In 2009 The Times called it the "most Wildean" adaptation of the novel, boasting "perhaps the best Dorian" and mentioning that John Gielgud "steals the show, having of course been given the most beguiling lines by Wilde".
This version accentuates the gay subtext of Wilde's novel more than other versions; e.g. when Dorian wants Alan's help in the disposal of Basil's body, it is strongly suggested that the two had a sexual relationship in the past and when Dorian's seduction attempt fails, he apparently threatens to expose Alan as a homosexual. In the novel and other adaptations the precise nature of Dorian's hold over Alan is mostly left to the imagination of the reader or viewer, respectively.