14 user 6 critic

The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960)

At the height of his fame (his plays being much celebrated in London in the 1890's), Oscar Wilde angers the Marquis of Queensberry by having what is whispered and gossiped as a romantic ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (based on the book "The Trials Of Oscar Wilde" by) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Oscar Wilde (1960)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Robert Morley, Phyllis Calvert, Ralph Richardson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Major Jock Sinclair has been in this Highland regiment since he joined as a boy piper. During the Second World War, as Second-in-Command, he was made acting Commanding Officer. Now the ... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, John Mills, Susannah York
Wilde (1997)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Gilbert
Stars: Stephen Fry, Jude Law, Vanessa Redgrave
Murder, Inc. (1960)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The rise and fall of a 1930's Brooklyn crime syndicate, known as Murder Incorporated, led by mobster Lepke Buchalter.

Directors: Burt Balaban, Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Stuart Whitman, May Britt, Henry Morgan
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Set in the 17th-century, an Italian nobleman weds an impoverished countess, who is wooed by the King of Piedmont and faces pressure from his entire court to succumb to his wishes.

Director: Axel Corti
Stars: Timothy Dalton, Valeria Golino, Stéphane Freiss
Babes in Arms (1939)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The struggle of two talented young artists, to make their own way in the show business.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1960s Dublin a young girl becomes involved with an older man, a much-travelled and still married land-owner.

Director: Desmond Davis
Stars: Peter Finch, Rita Tushingham, Lynn Redgrave
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of Franklin Roosevelt's bout with polio at age 39 in 1921 and how his family (and especially wife Eleanor) cope with his illness. From being stricken while vacationing at ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent J. Donehue
Stars: Ralph Bellamy, Greer Garson, Hume Cronyn
Basil (1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A lonely young aristocrat in turn-of the century England stuggles to meet the approval of his over-bearing, class-conscious father while trying to please the selfish woman he loves.

Director: Radha Bharadwaj
Stars: Christian Slater, Jared Leto, Claire Forlani
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jack Cardiff received a 1960 Oscar Nomination as Best Director for this lush, engaging film starring Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell and Donald Pleasence, which was adapted from D.H. ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell, Wendy Hiller
Victim (1961)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A prominent lawyer goes after a blackmailer who threatens gay men with exposure (homosexual acts still being illegal). But he's gay himself...

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Divorced working woman Alex and well-to-do Jewish family doctor Daniel Hirsh share not only the same answering service but also the favours of young Bob Elkin who bed-hops between them as ... See full summary »

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lady Wilde
Ada Leverson
James Booth ...
'Wood' / Wood
Lloyd Lamble ...
Charles Humphries
Paul Rogers ...
Frank Harris
Ian Fleming ...
Naomi Chance ...


At the height of his fame (his plays being much celebrated in London in the 1890's), Oscar Wilde angers the Marquis of Queensberry by having what is whispered and gossiped as a romantic relationship with Queensberry's son, twenty years Wilde's junior. When Queensberry slanders Wilde, the arrogant artist decides to take the matter to court, and brings about his own downfall. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1960 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Green Carnation  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording)


(photographed in) (as Technicolor ®)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Gielgud wrote that he was originally offered the role of Wilde, having had major successes directing Wilde's plays "Lady Windemere's Fan" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" (the latter also being one of Gielgud's most famous non-Shakespearean acting roles). He turned the film down, writing "no one could look less like Wilde than I do, not even Peter Finch." See more »


Wilde's friend Robbie Ross is shown as being ignorant of Wilde's homosexuality, asking him to deny rumours of it. In fact Ross was gay and probably Wilde's first male lover. See more »


[the Marquis of Queensbury hands an insulting bouquet of vegetables to Oscar Wilde]
Oscar Wilde: How charming. Every time I smell them I shall think of you, Lord Queensbury.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Lillie Langtry's name is misspelled "Lily." See more »


Referenced in Ken Adam: Designing Bond (2000) See more »


Die Fledermaus
Music by Johann Strauss
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

It's holding up very well after 40+ years
25 December 2004 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

Ken Hughes film 'The Trials of Oscar Wilde' may at first appear to be one of those cheesy Technicolor costume dramas when in fact it is a gripping and finely acted account of the appalling treatment Oscar Wilde received at the hands of the English justice system at the end of the 19th century.

Peter Finch is superb as the eponymous hero and is totally committed to the role and turns in one of his best performances on screen. The supporting cast is also quite good if more generalized in their characterizations, more a fault of the screenplay than the performers. There is one especially fine supporting performance from Lionel Jeffries as the maniacal Lord Queensbury. Jeffries plays Queensbury as a crazed brute, a type of man we can no longer countenance in these days, though I suspect they are still out there waiting for their chance to pounce on those who they fear and do not understand.

Sonia Dresdel is Lady Wilde, Oscar's dotty mother at the end of her life. It's a small part but is quietly powerful. Other people in Wilde's life, Constance, his wife, and Ada Leverson, his stalwart friend and life-long supporter, are tantalizingly glimpsed but little is revealed of their inner workings. But this isn't a film about them but about the actual trials and much of the film is spent in courtrooms. This might sound boring but it isn't.

James Mason appears in the first trial as the defending witness, for Lord Queensbury, and a more vicious, narrow-minded lawyer could hardly be found, even these days.

The technical credits are competent if nothing special; the music, melodramatic in a soap-opera-ish way, the sets plush and too clean. But somehow the power and tragedy of Wilde's story comes through all the gilding of the script, peppered with some of Wilde's wiser quotes, well-placed, naturally, in the text. There is nothing preachy or moralistic which is a relief, compared to the highly politicized scripts being written since this film was made.

It is interesting to note Nicholas Roeg as the camera operator. He wasn't the cinematographer but I detected a few Roeg-ish touches in a couple of the more meditative scenes.

This is not a film to be sluffed off as old-fashioned simply because there are no sex scenes or vulgar language or violence. The psychic violence suffered by Oscar Wilde was quite sufficient enough and this is a memorable film, worth having in the collection.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: