The Walking Dead
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No consensus yet.
All Critics (26)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (25)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (3)
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.
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.
Caine plays the sodding little spiv with a raucous charm that makes Alfie seem more interesting than he actually is.
Behind its alley-cat philosophy, there's some shrewd sense, some pointed barbs and a sharp moral.
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.
In Lewis Gilbert's film the stop-go policy of laugh-cry-laugh-cry (with squeal-titter variations now and then) just doesn't work because the moods overlap.
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.
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
What makes it work is charismatic Caine and the witty, intelligent script. Both work together to keep this remorseless bastard who uses and hurts women from being completely unlikable or unsympathetic.
Michael Caine gives a bravura, career-making and Oscar-nominated, performance as a Cockney Don Juan, who's by turns weak and endearing, charming and despicable, but the film has aged badly.
Michael Caine's breakout performance is awesome.
Caine does such a flawless job in the role that he alone makes the film.
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.
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.
Michael Caine is great as the precursor to Ferris Bueller, but this movie is no Ferris Bueller. It's much darker, more akin to Lindsay Anderson than John Hughes.
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