1966. Great Britain. Lewis Gilbert. 114 min.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 8:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
1966. Great Britain. Directed by Lewis Gilbert. Music by Sonny Rollins. With Michael Caine, Shelley Winters. A Cockney skirt-chaser gets his comeuppance in swinging sixties London in this jaunty, touching, and rueful adaptation of Bill Naughton's popular West End play. Caine leads an excellent supporting cast that includes Denholm Elliot as a drunken back-alley abortionist and Vivien Merchant as the most tragically spurned woman of all. The score, written by saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins and featuring guitarist Kenny Burrell, was arranged by Oliver Nelson for a nine-piece group—an unusually large band for Rollins at the time. Describing the now-classic "Alfie's Theme," critic Nat Hentoff writes, "Sonny's remarkably fresh and cohesive series of thematic variations make [this] a lesson in organically original improvisation." 114 min.