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The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960)

At the height of his fame, Oscar Wilde angers the Marquis of Queensberry by having what is (correctly) believed to be a romantic relationship with Queensberry's son Lord Alfred Douglas ("... See full summary »

Director:

Ken Hughes

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Finch ... Oscar Wilde
Yvonne Mitchell ... Constance Wilde
James Mason ... Sir Edward Carson
Nigel Patrick ... Sir Edward Clarke
Lionel Jeffries ... Marquis of Queensberry
John Fraser ... Lord Alfred Douglas
Sonia Dresdel ... Lady Wilde
Maxine Audley ... Ada Leverson
James Booth ... Alfred Wood
Emrys Jones ... Robbie Ross
Lloyd Lamble ... Charles Humphries
Paul Rogers ... Frank Harris
Ian Fleming ... Arthur
Laurence Naismith ... Prince of Wales
Naomi Chance Naomi Chance ... Lily Langtry
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Storyline

At the height of his fame, Oscar Wilde angers the Marquis of Queensberry by having what is (correctly) believed to be a romantic relationship with Queensberry's son Lord Alfred Douglas ("Bosie"), who is twenty years Wilde's junior. When Queensberry slanders Wilde, the 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


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Green Carnation See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording)

Color:

Color (photographed in) (as Technicolor ®)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lionel Jeffries, aged 33 at the time of filming, was only five years older than John Fraser who played his son. See more »

Goofs

After the Marquis of Queensberry left Wilde's home, Wilde (seated) embraced his wife. In one shot his left hand (on her arm) was level with his chin. Then on a change of camera, it was level with his eyes. See more »

Quotes

[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

Opening credits prologue: LONDON in the 1890's See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Profile of 'A Town Like Alice' (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Fledermaus
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

It's holding up very well after 40+ years
25 December 2004 | by pekinmanSee 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.


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