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Oscar Wilde (1960)

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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...
...
...
...
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Wife of Oscar Wilde...who's private life became public when her husband's controversial attitudes towards love and sex caused a national scandal!


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Details

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Release Date:

May 1960 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Passion  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

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 »

Goofs

When the Marquis of Queensberry writes his insulting note - "To Oscar Wilde, posing as a Sodomite" - the hotel clerk to whom he has given it consults a dictionary for the meaning of the word. The definition is clearly cut and pasted from another source, and in addition, it has been cut and pasted, perhaps deliberately, into the middle of the dictionary's definition for "sentimental." See more »

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User Reviews

Cheap sets and great acting.
19 October 2000 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Whatever money was spent on this movie certainly didn't go on the sets, the furniture looks as though it was assembled by a local handyman and the trial scenes, which make up the largest part of the film, seem to be taking place in a converted church hall or school gymnasium with hastily constructed props. However this happens to be a very good film indeed, the superb acting carries the film and makes it far better than the more lavish Peter Finch version which was released about the same time.

I've always thought of Robert Morley as just a comic character playing himself but here he really becomes Oscar Wilde. You can imagine Wilde talking and behaving as he does in this movie . The verbal exchanges between Morley as Wilde and Ralph Richardson as the prosecutor are magnificent. Wilde enjoying the limelight, plays to the gallery and wins every one of the exchanges until he gets too confident, makes one fatal error and then the prosecutor starts to chip away at his defense.

The minor characters are uniformly well acted with Phyllis Calvert as Wilde's wife, Dennis Price as his loyal friend and Edward Chapman as the boorish Marquis of Queensbury . John Neville is probably a little too old to play Sir Alfred Douglas but his skilful acting makes it work . The final scenes between Wilde and his family are very touching.

Well worth seeing.


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