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Alfie (1965 & 2004)
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Alfie-Nominated for 3 Academy Awards including Best Picture, this wickedly comic tale is about a shallow womanizer who is desperately tryi ng to figure out what life is all about. Based on a play by ; Alfie (What's it all about?)-A contemporary updating of the 1966 classic "Alfie", focusing on a womanizer forced to rethink his superficial existence.
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Amazingly Michael Caine, (Alfie) refers to women as "Girl," and even more shockingly as, "It." He is a true cockney character and I'm not sure how many characters are still out there in modern day London who would today fit his mould, (although obviously it is a film!)
Alfie appears to have no moral compass and is literally only interested in having a good time with the women of his life.
One moment, (which is repeated in the remake) is when towards the end of the movie he goes back to visit an older lady, (who he had met previously when he was taking photographs of tourists at Tower Bridge), and he discovers she has another man in her bedroom. He is shocked that she has chosen another man over him and asks why to which he is told that he is younger! (This same event happens in the remake too).
On the surface it appears that he is living an amazing life going from woman to woman but he ends up losing Gilda who he had a child, (Malcolm) with. She marrys a bus conductor who in her words she doesn't love but respects. (I presume the point being she loves Alfie but doesn't respect him. She doesn't want a, "Weekend father.")
While in hospital he meets the wife of a patient and after leaving hospital has an affair with her. She becomes pregnant and she has an abortion in Alfie's flat. Which is a very harrowing experience for the both of them. She is devastated and Alfie equally so.
At this point the viewer is thinking is Alfie going to change his ways? Yet as he waxes lyrical at the end of the film next to the river Thames it is left open as to what he will do next.
Caine's performance is fantastic and although the movie was made in 1965 it doesn't seem to have aged that much. What I would say is that a lot of the characters sound very British. (I.e. not how they would sound today in modern day Britain).
5 Star film 5 Star DVD quality , better than some blu ray transfers
With straight to camera dialogue, he shines- but also shows how versatile he is in certain very moving scenes too.
It appears no attempt has been made to enhance the picture quality and its so poor, it's annoying to watch.
In dark scenes there are lines running down the screen as if the recording has been made by pointing a camera at a TV screen!
Certainly not up to broadcast standards and even worse than my original Alfie VHS cassette tape.