DIRECTOR: Lewis Gilbert
NOT A PART OF OUR COLLECTION
May Contain Spoilers!
Will we be adding this to our collection? MAYBE
Probably regarded as Michael Caine’s breakthrough role, the ‘Jack the lad’ characterisation has stuck with him throughout his long and prolific career. The charisma of both Caine and his character are undeniable, as he sweet talks and belittles his conquests in the same stroke, often referring to them as “it” when breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience directly, at times, as if he is narrating a social documentary.
There’s little really going on here besides watching Alfie chat up anything that moves, screw his friends over, move in with some of his girlfriends, have a baby with one before leaving them both but not before trying at length to talk her into giving their son up for adoption.
Where this film works best is in it candor. He’s a cheeky lad, a bad boy, a loner, user simply passing through life taking what liberties he can and seeming to get away with it, only to be alone through most of it. His company, just passing fancies. Caine brings this to life and in turn helps to create a social commentary on the 60’s sexual revolution, as a man who would soon become a throw back to more macho times, whist still embodying the male attitudes of today, which are suppressed even though a lot of women are more than happy to live under a man’s rule, despite what convention dictates.
People don’t change, but times and sexual politics do. Alfie paints a horrendous picture a 60’s ‘Jack the lad’, with Caine being nothing short of a baddie through and through but his charisma shows just how seductive that can be.
Dated by today’s standards but clearly the coolest film of year back in 1966, and with good, non politic correct reason.