Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
United Kingdom, 1966. Lewis Gilbert. Screenplay by Bill Naughton, based on his play. Cinematography by Otto Heller. Produced by Lewis Gilbert. Music by Sonny Rollins. Production Design by Peter Mullins. Costume Design by Jean Fairlie, Jack Dagemais. Film Editing by Thelma Connell.
Michael Caine‘s first signature role was in this story about a callous, self-centered young man who leaves broken hearts in his wake. Alfie thinks he is hip, smart and modern, but he’s actually just cruel to the two women who love him most: a patient girlfriend who waits for him at home (Millicent Martin) and a married housewife (Vivien Merchant) who gets involved before she realizes the consequences. When he does finally decide to settle down with someone, this ladies’ man finds himself threatened by competition. Lewis Gilbert’s smart direction points out the downside of youthful recklessness in this poignant film that still retains its timely message. Remade in 2004 with Jude Law.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Michael Caine); Best Supporting Actress (Vivien Merchant); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Song (“Alfie”)
Cannes Film Festival Award: Jury Special Prize
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Actor-Drama (Michael Caine); Best Supporting Actress (Vivien Merchant); Best Supporting Actress (Shelley Winters); Best Director (Lewis Gilbert); Best Screenplay