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Alfie

"Something of a masterpiece"

"Alfie is quite possibly THE Brit flick of the sixties"

"I am at a loss as to why Caine's performance didn't earn him an Oscar"

Alfie - 1965 or 2004 versions

This story of a Cockney lothario with no conscience and proud of his numerous conquests. Suddenly, faced with a serious illness, he finds the magic of his life has gone and he becomes a lonely, rather sad figure.

Review

"What's it all about, Alfie?" asked the hit Burt Bacharach/Hal David title song, to which the less philosophical answer might be: an amoral young man comically seducing a succession of beautiful women in swinging-sixties London. Michael Caine was the titular anti-hero, here consolidating his new star status from Zulu (1964) and The Ipcress File (1965), his conquests including Shelley Winters, Jane Asher and Shirley Ann Field.

Alfie was a huge success, bringing a new frankness about changing sexual attitudes to the screen, in which respect it was almost the male companion to Julie Christie's then shocking, Oscar-winning performance in Darling (1965). It was also a sort-of contemporary Tom Jones, which had swept the Oscars for 1963. However, Alfie was not only better made, but in Michael Caine's guilelessly amoral asides to camera, offered a groundbreaking illustration of a newly self-conscious cinema. It is a technique Caine would reprise as the middle-aged philanderer in Blame It On Rio (1983). With Blow Up also released in 1966, and Ken Russell's Women In Love following in 1969, British film-making was truly in the midst of a sexual revolution. Michael Caine would reunite with director Lewis Gilbert and meet his female match in Educating Rita (1983).

Click below for more information, or to buy from Amazon:

  • Alfie - 1965 Version with Michael Caine

  •  Alfie - 2004 Version with Jude Law

  •  Alfie - 1965 and 2004 Versions in a Box Set