In London, the twenty-seven year-old hairdresser Rita decides to complete her basic education before having children as desired by her husband Denny. She joins the literature course in an ... See full summary »
For Alfie, the only real life is sex life; only then can he kid himself he is living. Sex is not used as the working-class boy's way to 'the top'. Executive status has no appeal for Alfie. Nor has class mobility. He is quite content to stay where he is, as long as the 'birds' are in 'beautiful condition', as he assures us they are in one of the candid, over-the-shoulder asides to the camera which the film carries over from "Tom Jones". The film shows how much of the 'swinging 60's' quality of London life was a male creation, and through the dominance of the fashion photographers, a male prerogative. Written by
This is one of Caines best films and proof that with the right material he can be a very good actor. The story is based on the popular 1960's British theme of human emotions and how the central character faces up to their shortcomings. Alfie, the character, is a dinosaur by today's standards, but there were, and still are men who behave in this way. The film broke new bounds at this time, particularly with the abortion scene. It is said that many cinema-goers walked out in disgust at this harrowing point in the film. How times change. Denholm Elliot's short performance as the sleazy abortionist is worth a mention here as it captures the filthiness of the moment perfectly.
In fact all the supporting roles are excellent. As a period 1960's piece, the film is almost flawless and Sonny Rollins' jazzy soundtrack is beautiful. The ending of the film is very moving with Caine summing up his life and the arty end credits being run whilst Cher sings Burt Bacharach's "Alfie" theme tune. Watch it and your views on life will change.
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