Oscar Wilde's homosexuality is exposed when he tries to defend himself against his lover's father.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Phyllis Calvert ...
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Sir Edgar Clarke
Edward Chapman ...
Martin Benson ...
George Alexander
Robert Harris ...
Justice Henn Collins
Henry Oscar ...
William Devlin ...
Solicitor-General
Stephen Dartnell ...
Cobble
Ronald Leigh-Hunt ...
Lionel Johnson
Martin Boddey ...
Insp. Richards
Leonard Sachs ...
Richard Legallienne
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Storyline

In the 1890s, famed writer Oscar Wilde (Robert Morley) embarks on a relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas (John Neville), despite his marriage to Constance (Phyllis Calvert). This relationship and its consequences are the focus of this dramatization of Wilde's life. Wilde sues Alfred's father, the Marquis of Queensberry (Edward Chapman), for libel - a lawsuit that turns against him when a prosecuting lawyer forces him to admit to his homosexuality, leading to a second lawsuit. Written by mahajanssen

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May 1960 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Passion  »

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1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Robert Morley made his name on the stage playing Oscar Wilde at the London Gate Theatre in 1936. The play was a success despite being banned from major London theatres because of its theme of homosexuality, and was later produced in America with Morely making his Broadway debut in the part on October 10, 1938. The play was a hit in New York and ran 247 performances, a substantial run at the time for a straight play. See more »

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Morley a bit long in the tooth to give Wilde bio any bite.
11 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Morely who it was reported dazzled theatre goers with his interpretation in 1936 of one of the most quotable men in history waited around too long to create the film version and it shows in this tired looking production that throws around a variety of his bon mots in hopes that it will spring board it to life. It doesn't.

Oscar Wilde in the prime of life has conquered two continents with his brilliant wit and ability to sum up modern day society in a few words. His plays are are major successes, his speaking engagements enthusiastically received. But the love that dare not speak its name stalks him and rather than play it safe the arrogantly confident Wilde riding a tide of popularity sues accuser and sweet science rule maker Lord Douglas and in the process gets KO'd by the court and sent to prison which does some heavy damage to psyche and talent (though some would argue his prison poem is the best thing he ever wrote). Released ruined he goes to Paris and takes up the pursuit of absinthe.

The always charming and entertaining Morely is simply too old for the role and Gregory Ratoff's direction too timid to give any of Wilde spark at all. It is no surprise that Morely's best moments are found at the end where dissipation has taken over but by then lead, writer and director have missed tackling the subject with any alacrity and the outcome is lackluster in every way.


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