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Oscar Wilde (1960)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | May 1960 (UK)
Playwright Oscar Wilde's homosexuality is exposed when he brings a libel action against his lover's father, leading to his own prosecution.


Gregory Ratoff


Jo Eisinger (screenplay), Leslie Stokes (play) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Morley ... Oscar Wilde
Ralph Richardson ... Sir Edward Carson
Phyllis Calvert ... Constance Wilde
John Neville ... Lord Alfred Douglas
Dennis Price ... Robert Ross
Alexander Knox ... Sir Edward Clarke
Edward Chapman ... John Sholto Douglas - Marquis of Queensberry
Martin Benson ... George Alexander
Robert Harris ... Justice Richard Henn Collins - First Trial
Henry Oscar ... Justice Alfred Wills - Second Trial
William Devlin William Devlin ... Solicitor-General
Stephen Dartnell Stephen Dartnell ... Cobble
Ronald Leigh-Hunt ... Lionel Johnson
Martin Boddey ... Inspector Richards (as Martin Boddy)
Leonard Sachs ... Richard LeGalliene


In the 1890s, famed writer Oscar Wilde embarks on a relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, despite his marriage to Constance. As their relationship creates a public scandal and feeds the outrage of Alfred's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, Wilde charges the Marquis with libel - a decision that turns against him when the Marquis' lawyer leads him to admit to his homosexuality, resulting in Wilde's own prosecution. Written by mahajanssen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Theirs was a relationship the world could not - would not tolerate See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This was the more modest of the two biopics of Oscar Wilde which opened in Britain, where both were made, in 1960. The two films were announced by rival companies within a few days of each other, began filming almost simultaneously, and were released in cinemas only a few days apart. This black-and-white, low-budget version made it onto the screen first, but was dismissed by most critics, and failed at the box-office. The other movie, "The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960)," was lavishly produced in Technicolor and Technirama and featured a star-studded cast led by Peter Finch as Wilde. It got rave reviews, but it, too, failed financially. See more »


When the Marquis of Queensberry writes his insulting note - "To Oscar Wilde, posing as a Sodomite" - the club desk 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 »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over the background of Wilde's tomb, specifically over his name on the side of the structure. See more »

User Reviews

Cheap sets and great acting.
19 October 2000 | by Cajun-4See 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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Release Date:

May 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Passion See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vantage Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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