Despite appearing in more than 100 films in a career that has spanned for than fifty years and receiving six Academy Award nominations (two wins), Michael Caine has finally left his mark on Hollywood. Literally.
I finally saw the original Alfie and I’m glad I did. Until now the only other Michael Caine film I have seen is Hannah and Her Sisters. And that has been a serious lapse in judgement.
Michael Caine plays the title character who is the ultimate ladies man. He is “successful” with women and he rarely gets involved. But throughout the movie, Alfie has a series of eye-opening experiences. He has a child who is adopted by another man, gets a married women pregnant, and has a personal health crisis. Poor Alfie, because when he finally decides to settle down, he is rejected for a younger man.
As viewers, we are constantly reminded that Alfie is a womanizing dog but surprisingly that doesn’t stop you from liking him and even feeling sorry for him. Caine delivers a heart warming portrayal of Alfie and you can’t help but like him.
What was intriguing to me was how this movie examined the 1960’s. It dealt so heavily with the issue of abortion that several well-known actors (including Laurence Harvey of The Manchurian Candidate) turned down the part that ended up being Michael Caine’s breakthrough film.