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Michael Caine's first starring role was a foray into dramatic irony, scripted by Bill Naughton from his novel and play. Alfie (Caine) is a charming, rogueish Cockney who cannot get his fill of women. He uses them without shame or malice, jumping from one promiscuous female's bed to another without much thought or feeling. Of course, Alfie's not as carefree as he would have the audience -- to whom he often speaks directly -- think: he treats his pregnant, common-law wife, Gilda (Julia Foster), quite shabbily, and has an affair with a married woman (Vivien Merchant) that leaves her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"For all its implicit misogyny, the original 1966 film version of Bill Naughton's play remains durable because of Michael Caine's career-defining performance as the cockney ladies' man."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Of course he gets his comeuppance, in an ending that has all the moral weight and sincerity of a DeMille sex'n'sawdust spectacular. Good performances, though."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"What makes it work is charismatic Caine and the witty, intelligent script. Both work together to keep this remorseless bastard who uses and hurts women from being completely unlikable or unsympathetic."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Caine does such a flawless job in the role that he alone makes the film."
‑ David Cornelius,
"Interestingly, the film's first person narration inclines us to relate to and identify with the protagonist, and for much of the film you like the man despite his faults."
‑ Diane Selkirk, Apollo Guide
"Caine plays the sodding little spiv with a raucous charm that makes Alfie seem more interesting than he actually is."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"In its time, the film was praised for its sexual frankness and persuasive rendering of Swinging London; both seem quaint by contemporary standards. Caine's Cockney Don Juan, however, is sui generis."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Michael Caine gives a bravura, career-making and Oscar-nominated, performance as a Cockney Don Juan, who's by turns weak and endearing, charming and despicable, but the film has aged badly."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"a sober-minded study of one man's inability to settle down..."
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"Caine does a wonderful job of building and maintaining sympathy for his arrant, arrogant character, despite his obvious brutishness."
‑ , Film4
"Behind its alley-cat philosophy, there's some shrewd sense, some pointed barbs and a sharp moral."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Alfie (Michael Caine) is more than just a perpetual bachelor; he's a ladies' man, a cad, a man about town. Put bluntly: Alfie loves to have sex. He meets women and takes what he wants from them: pleasure. But behind him, Alfie is leaving a trail of misery"
‑ Staff,
"Michael Caine's breakout performance is awesome."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"It put Michael Caine on the movie star map, deservedly so."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"Caine's terrific performance makes a viewer almost forget that the film is actually a condemnation of its character's swinging lifestyle."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
More reviews for Alfie on Rotten Tomatoes