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Alfie (Caine) is a London limo driver, a job that enables him to meet girls, girls, girls, and he does. Uses them, abuses them, moves on. The movie's based on the stage play of the same name by Bill Naughton, who adapted it for the screen, and was directed by Lewis Gilbert. It won five Oscar nominations, seven other awards, and 16 more miscellaneous nominations. Terence Stamp, cockney himself, and possibly the handsomest man alive at that time, was playing the title role on Broadway, but refused the movie, as he thought it "too immoral." Filmed on location in London and environs, Naughton "opened up" the play by adding many Thamesside scenes, making the mighty river another, mood-setting, reminding-us-of-eternity, character. Denholm Elliott has one unforgettable scene; Sydney Tafler and other cockney types provided Caine with excellent support; some of the women in Alfie's life were played by Shelley Winters, Jane Asher, Shirley Anne Field, Vivien Merchant, and Eleanor Bron.Read more ›
The technique of having Alfie philosophize into the camera could have flopped, but Michael Caine pulls it off. Although his character is indeed a cad, he is also vulnerable and capable of feelings (The scene in which Vivien Merchant gets an abortion and Alfie is mortified). He is indeed self-centered, with his life being driven by how many "birds" he can bed, but Caine convinces us that Alfie is not a simple character.
And at the end when Ruby (Shelly Winters), who Alfie is considering "settling down" with, dumps him, having found sombody younger, his ego takes quite a bruising.
Finally, there is Malcolm. This is a child that Alfie had with one of his girlfriends, who, since Alfie is not the marrying kind, sensibly married someone else. Alfie secretly, wistfully, watches the three of them in the park, and you actually for once feel sorry for him because he knows Malcolm is his child but Malcolm will never be a part of his life. He ends the movie speaking to the camera and, to those who may envy his way with the fair sex, laments that he does not have "peace of mind", and that he probably never will.
The English films are almost always better than American films. More honest, less sophomoric, more adult, and more candid. "Alfie" is definitely one of those films.Read more ›
Alfie seems to be in a constant battle with himself to remain insensitive, uncaring, and focused only on an 'empty sex is everything' point of view. He carries on affairs with married women who yearn to run away with him, and at the same time with single girls who'd do anything to pry a commitment from him, and he makes a few people pregnant along the way. Every female he meets is desperate to get him for a serious partner and he is indifferent to them all. Irony comes when he meets and finally falls for someone, at last wishing to commit himself. The object of his desire is a flashy, worldly older woman (Shelley Winters), and the problem is, she is a female replica of himself who uses men and views them with the exact same disregard he has for women. To her, Alfie, 'the bloke all the other gals are dying for', is just another meaningless piece of sexual action, and thus, he ends up getting a good dose of his own medicine.
The DVD is beautifully clear, almost 3-dimensional.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This film is *too* British. I couldn't even understand what they were saying WITH the subtitles on. You have to be from England to really enjoy this movie.Published 3 months ago by Roy C.
So much a 60's movie... Sentiment of the times... Life was different 50 years ago....Published 4 months ago by Susan K. Galegher
Just great! The transfer is pristine, and the widescreen format is ideal for the tone and presentation. As for the plot... well, they don't make em' like this anymore. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Raimund
I'm usually the one who loves the original movie and not too keen on a remake. This is the exception. I felt that Michael Caine's Alfie was mean spirited towards women. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sherry Maloy
4 stars for innovation (in-scene narration), contemporary boldness of situations, sound (has Hollywood forgotten how to maintain reasonable audibility levels? Read morePublished 11 months ago by wideglide
I had seen this movie a few years ago, but wanted it for my collection. I think Michael Caine is a wonderful actor and I absolutely love Shelley Winters! Read morePublished 13 months ago by J. R. Jones
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