A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Initially the movie appears to glamorize a promiscuous bachelor lifestyle. However, this behavior is soon shown to lead to a lonely and regretful existence. Be careful how you treat people as your behavior may come back to haunt you.
Positive Role Models
Although Alfie is presented as a confident, charming, and aspirational bachelor, as the story unfolds we're invited to pity him as much as he begins to realize the drawbacks of his philandering ways. He also wishes he could be a more active father to his child. As the story progresses, a few of the women he objectifies get their own back by turning him down and realizing they deserve better. Ruby, in particular, plays him at his own game and dumps him for a younger man.
As part of the premise, women are frequently objectified (but not without consequence). One older female character has more agency and appears more empowered when she chooses a younger man to date. All characters are White, straight, and British.
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Violence & Scariness
One bar fight sees fists thrown, chairs used as weapons, and a character being pulled up by their collar. A character throws a pot across the kitchen during an argument. An abortion is performed behind a closed curtain and a woman appears in pain afterward. A character describes what they saw of the unborn child. People are hospitalized with life-threatening illnesses.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple appear to have sex in a car with steamed windows -- only their conversation is heard. It is implied that a nurse climbs into a patient's bed behind a curtain. A couple kiss passionately on a picnic blanket and it is implied, off camera, that they have sex. Protection is obviously not used as this leads to a pregnancy and a planned -- but backstreet -- abortion. There is plenty of sexual innuendo throughout the characteristically cheeky script. However, no nudity or sex is seen on camera.
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Language includes "bleedin'" and various loaded sexual innuendoes.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters occasionally smoke cigarettes and drink in bars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Alfie is the classic 1966 British comedy drama known for its career-defining performance by Michael Caine as the titular character. The film was revolutionary for the time for how Alfie breaks the fourth wall and addresses the camera as well as its stark depictions of abortion. Loaded with sexual innuendo, the script is purposefully littered with objectifying language toward women who are used only for sex. However, as the story develops a number of these women get their own back on Alfie. As befitting the '60s time period, characters are seen smoking and drinking. There is also a bar fight with fists and chairs thrown. There are also scenes in a hospital where characters are seen for potentially fatal illnesses. The abortion however, takes place as an illegal procedure in a character's home. Nominated for five Academy Awards, it also stars Shelley Winters and Jane Asher, and was directed by Lewis Gilbert. A less credible remake was made in 2004 with Jude Law attempting to fill Caine's shoes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The excellence in this movie lies in Caine's exquisite performance. In Alfie, the British actor brilliantly lands both the sauce and sentiment of the titular character. A lesser actor would leave us with a one-dimensional cad. Yet this sharp, sensitive performance allows us to see his human side and find enjoyment in this witty, observant comedy.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.