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Alfie (1966)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  24 August 1966 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 9,939 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 46 critic

An unrepentant ladies' man gradually begins to understand the consequences of his lifestyle.



(screenplay), (based on the play: "Alfie")
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Title: Alfie (1966)

Alfie (1966) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Julia Foster ...
Shirley Anne Field ...
Vivien Merchant ...
Lily Clamacraft
The Doctor
The Abortionist
Alfie Bass ...
Graham Stark ...
Sydney Tafler ...


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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What's it all about... Alfie. See more »


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 August 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfie  »

Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On its original release, the film had an all instrumental soundtrack, by Sonny Rollins. The Oscar nominated song, by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was added for the American release, and to a British re-release. For the UK release, the song was sung by Cilla Black over the end credits, which went to #9 on the British charts. For the US release, the song was originally to be sung by Dionne Warwick over the end credits, but was replaced at the last minute by the version sung by Cher. Ironically, Warwick's version outperformed Cher's on the Billboard charts. See more »


Fly-wire visible on the guy who is thrown through the paneling at the end of the pub fight. See more »


Alfie: I've told you before to be careful where you put your legs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the film Michael Caine talks to camera and explains that there will be no opening credits. See more »


Referenced in Have I Got News for You: Episode #28.7 (2004) See more »


Rolling Bones
by The Screaming Nadgers
[Instrumental as heard in Motorway Café]
See more »

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User Reviews

More than a comedy
15 January 2002 | by (Stratford, NJ) – See all my reviews

Watching this marvellous film again last night, I began to think about how peculiar that a film which has so severely dated in so many respects still manages to say something profound today. In certain respects, this film just couldn't be done today. First of all, gender roles have changed a great deal, and many of Alfie's "birds" simply wouldn't be plausible in a modern film. Second of all, sex has changed so much. Back in the 80s, we had plenty of films (usually bad ones) which took a similarly cavalier attitude toward sex, but that's a relic of a simpler, pre-HIV world that's gone forever.

But "Alfie" still manages to say something, even to a modern audience. On one hand, it's got a very funny script, and Michael Caine plays Alfie with such an infectious charm that it's impossible not to smile. But also, there's a deeper layer of meaning to the film. "I never mean to hurt anyone," Alfie says. "I know," says Harry, "but you do." Alfie ignores this lovely and rare moment of real honesty, but the audience shouldn't, because the heart of the film is right here.

Alfie himself is such a fascinating character. At first, he seems like simply a rogue, a rascal. But there's a helluva lot going on under the surface. His deep, deep insecurities, his tragic loneliness (he wouldn't see it that way, naturally), his pathological inability to have a real relationship with anyone. Especially his own son, whom he obviously loves very much.

While it's easy to see "Alfie" as a tragic story and feel sympathy for the character, it's important to hold onto the hatred. Alfie is a cruel, merciless, and heartless man. He is self-absorbed, utterly insensitive, and totally domineering. He cheerfully holds his "birds" to standards of loyalty he himself needn't bother with. He ruthlessly undermines the individuality and autonomy of everyone he is with, even when pretending to be a liberating force. Notice in his scenes with Gilda how his words sound as though he's endorsing freedom, independence, and self-determination, but the effect of those words is to keep her right under his thumb where she belongs. Alfie deserves our sympathy, yes, but he also deserves our hatred, loathing, and utter contempt.

Anyway, like the DVD box says, this is just a sweet, frothy little comedy, if you like, and it's very enjoyable as such. But, if you care to look deeper, there is so much more to behold. The tagline to "American Beauty" was "look closer", but all of its profound ideas and insights (if any) were plastered right across the screen. "Alfie" is a film which asks you to look closer, and it rewards the effort.

67 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
The best Version of theme song? patrickau130
The fact is that this film does not appeal to women sahansmadhouse
don't get it, not funny, pretty sad + pathetic millie-dogue
Dated? joanbrazas
Ending of Alfie - help! emj23-1
Confusion over theme tune OobuJoobu
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