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 ("...
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Nearly a lifetime ago a legend walked the streets of London. His name was Oscar Wilde. His story was whispered over polite tea-cups and spat out in vulgar black banner headlines. To some he was a joke in bad taste, to others he was a human tragedy. Whatever they thought of him, they couldn't ignore him. And it took another lifetime to find the courage to put his story on the screen. So important is his story that the world was searched to find actors capable of enacting this great personal tragedy. Such world greats as Peter Finch, Yvonne Mitchell, James Mason, Nigel Patrick and a host of others. So big is this story it had to be in Technirama and Techinicolor.
According to publicity stories at the time, the film's last day of shooting was only two weeks before the London opening. Peter Finch claimed in interviews that it had had a budget of £350,000 - but it was a box-office failure. See more »
When Oscar sits next to Bosie at the Royal Cafe he gathers his coat around himself twice in successive shots. See more »
[the Marquis of Queensbury hands an insulting bouquet of vegetables to Oscar Wilde]
How charming. Every time I smell them I shall think of you, Lord Queensbury.
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Lillie Langtry's name is misspelled "Lily." See more »
One never quite believes the character given a rather masculine portrayal by Peter Finch is involved in a love affair with the young Lord Alfred Douglas, but the tentative treatment of the film's subject matter is understandable since homosexuality was still illegal in Britain at the time of its release. More importantly, however, is how effectively the film relates the story of a man who is ruined by a society which can be so hateful. Although Wilde is portrayed at first as an arrogant and indulgent celebrity, as his love for his family and his torn loyalties are revealed it becomes hard for one to feel no sadness as he is made to pay with public disgrace and a jail sentence. John Fraser is perfectly cast as the spoilt and manipulative Douglas.
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