Alfie (1966)

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Michael Caine's first starring role was a foray into dramatic irony, scripted by Bill Naughton from his novel and play. Alfie (Caine) is a charming, rogueish Cockney who cannot get his fill of women. He uses them without shame or malice, jumping from one promiscuous female's bed to another without much thought or feeling. Of course, Alfie's not as carefree as he would have the audience -- to whom he often speaks directly -- think: he treats his pregnant, common-law wife, Gilda (Julia Foster), quite shabbily, and has an affair with a married woman (Vivien Merchant) that leaves her pregnant, for which Alfie arranges an abortion. In the end, Alfie never finds lasting meaning or pleasure but remains an unrepentant, if low-class, Don Juan. Caine was Oscar-nominated for his performance.
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Classics , Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Paramount Pictures

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Cast

Jane Asher
as Annie
Eleanor Bron
as Doctor
Denholm Elliott
as Abortionist
Alfie Bass
as Harry
Graham Stark
as Humphrey
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Critic Reviews for Alfie

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4)

For all its implicit misogyny, the original 1966 film version of Bill Naughton's play remains durable because of Michael Caine's career-defining performance as the cockney ladies' man.

Full Review… | February 10, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Caine plays the sodding little spiv with a raucous charm that makes Alfie seem more interesting than he actually is.

Full Review… | April 20, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Behind its alley-cat philosophy, there's some shrewd sense, some pointed barbs and a sharp moral.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Of course he gets his comeuppance, in an ending that has all the moral weight and sincerity of a DeMille sex'n'sawdust spectacular. Good performances, though.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

In its time, the film was praised for its sexual frankness and persuasive rendering of Swinging London; both seem quaint by contemporary standards. Caine's Cockney Don Juan, however, is sui generis.

Full Review… | April 20, 2010
TV Guide

Alfie (Michael Caine) is more than just a perpetual bachelor; he's a ladies' man, a cad, a man about town. Put bluntly: Alfie loves to have sex. He meets women and takes what he wants from them: pleasure. But behind him, Alfie is leaving a trail of misery

Full Review… | February 17, 2010
AskMen.com

Audience Reviews for Alfie

½

Terrific!!!

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Sorely dated not only in look but in subject matter, this film takes place in the swinging 60's of London, and a lot of the attitudes of that time are front and center. Most of the time, you think Alfie is a bastard by the way he treats his "birds," but eventually, you start to feel for him by the end. Well-shot and edited, this is real classic, but I'm sure it will turn newer viewers off.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

The juvenile charisma of a thirty-something Michael Caine onscreen with all manner of woman started off as a candid comedic romp about sex in the swinging sixties. It becomes apparently clear early on that this is far from the case. A deep and distressing view of male promiscuity doesn't cover the parade of veneral disease that the title character trots out for his own soliloquied amusement. No, this was simply a character study of a very vapid and self -centered individual who comes to terms with his own centeredness through tragic sets of circumstances, including an affair with his roommate's wife, a relationship with a hitchhiker, the loss of a relationship with his only son, Malcolm, and a treasonous dupe by his latest conquest, Ruby. (Winters) Calamity abounds, but really, it was just a sad tirade of an aging lout.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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