Alfie

1966

Alfie

Critics Consensus

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96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,657
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Movie Info

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.

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Critic Reviews for Alfie

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (1)

  • An amusing, moving and meaningful picture. Although for much of the way it tinkles along with the innocent merriment of a carousel, it dips into reality for its climax, and makes a valid and indelible impression.

    Aug 24, 2017 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 10, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Caine plays the sodding little spiv with a raucous charm that makes Alfie seem more interesting than he actually is.

    Apr 20, 2010 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Behind its alley-cat philosophy, there's some shrewd sense, some pointed barbs and a sharp moral.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    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.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A minor British classic and a valuable record of the hedonistic Swinging 60s.

    May 12, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith

    BBC.com
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Alfie

  • Jun 18, 2011
    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 S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 06, 2010
    What's it all about, Alfie? Original for its time, with the protagonist addressing the camera, but the very dated attitudes don't exactly paint a pretty portrait of '60s London.
    Ross C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    I saw this after seeing the recent remake of it thinking that it would be much better, but I was disappointed. Even with Caine's great performance, the story lacks any feeling, it doesn't make the audience care about or feel anything. I do not care for Alfie at all, but this movie was slightly better than the remake, so I gave it a higher rating.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2010
    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 Super Reviewer

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