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Thread: Alfie (1966)

  1. #41
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Hadn't noticed this but I had no idea that the great Jerry Verno was appearing in the WE as late as 1963 so thanks for that. Though it wasn't actually the original cast - originally it was a radio play starring Bill Owen.

  2. #42
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    I would say the original "Alfie" is acually better than that remake done by Jude law!

  3. #43
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdlady
    I would say the original "Alfie" is acually better than that remake done by Jude law!
    I would say the remake is just awful, I endured about 20 minutes of it out of curiosity and loathed every minute and not just because I remembered the original being so good. Terence Stamp was offered the original film role after his stage success with the character, he turned it down as he felt he didn't want to reprise a character he had done so well on the stage with.......his then flat mate Michael Caine dutifuly stepped into the role. Caine often jokes that he has a recurring nightmare where Stamp accepts the film role and leaves Caine in obscurity.At the time Caine had done a couple of films and was on the up, but Alfie really catapulted him to superstardom.

  4. #44
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404
    At the time Caine had done a couple of films and was on the up, but Alfie really catapulted him to superstardom.
    That's right. After years of bit parts and TV work Maurice had done Zulu and The Ipcress File and was on the up .... however he has said that producers were still reluctant to cast him in good leading roles. When he did Alfie Maurice's stardom was assured .... Oscar nominations and all that sort of thing. I know Stamp is philosophical about losing Blow Up, is it known if he regrets turning down Alfie?

  5. #45
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    When I was a cinema projectionist in the 60s, Lewis Gilbert's 'Alfie' ran in my cinema for about 3 weeks. The end credits featured the fantastic music by Sonny Rollins...you can imagine after four shows a day I knew the music off by heart...an incredible score.



    Sadly all new DVDs and TV showings use the song by Cilla Black...what happened to the original track???



    I would love to hear Sonny's music again...any suggestions? I comb boot sales for a VHS copy but so far no luck.

    Film Man.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Cilla's version has never appeared in the end credits I've seen, either in TV showings or on DVD - it's always been Cher. The same goes for Sonny Rollins' music score.

  7. #47
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    Sorry, was it Cher? Anyway I know I'm right about Sonny Rollins.

    Film Man

  8. #48
    Senior Member Country: England DocRobertPepper's Avatar
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    When first released there was NO end song just the music of Sonny Rollins until it was shown in American when Burt Bacharach saw it and asked if he could do a song for it with Dionne Warwick in mind and recorded it with her for some reason the Cher version was put on instead

    then it got a re-release here as it was popular in the US and the Cilla Black version was put on it



    as far as i can remember all new releases have the Cher version on it

  9. #49
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocRobertPepper
    When first released there was NO end song just the music of Sonny Rollins until it was shown in American when Burt Bacharach saw it and asked if he could do a song for it with Dionne Warwick in mind and recorded it with her for some reason the Cher version was put on instead

    then it got a re-release here as it was popular in the US and the Cilla Black version was put on it



    as far as i can remember all new releases have the Cher version on it
    I have seen a print with no end song and IIRC the last time it was on TV the song was sung by Cilla. To be honest, I can't recall ever hearing the Cher version.

  10. #50
    Senior Member HUGHJAMPTON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Film Man
    When I was a cinema projectionist in the 60s, Lewis Gilbert's 'Alfie' ran in my cinema for about 3 weeks. The end credits featured the fantastic music by Sonny Rollins...you can imagine after four shows a day I knew the music off by heart...an incredible score.



    Sadly all new DVDs and TV showings use the song by Cilla Black...what happened to the original track???



    I would love to hear Sonny's music again...any suggestions? I comb boot sales for a VHS copy but so far no luck.

    Film Man.
    Quote Originally Posted by batman
    I have seen a print with no end song and IIRC the last time it was on TV the song was sung by Cilla. To be honest, I can't recall ever hearing the Cher version.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48oLsDImC5A

  11. #51
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    There's a good review of the soundtrack on Amazon ....



    "When Rollins arrived in the UK in autumn 1965 to commence work on "composing" the score for director Lewis Gilbert's adaptation of Bill Naughton's play "Alfie" everyone knew that something - almost anything - might happen.



    Rollins had long been regarded as one of jazz music's most capricious characters - his band personnels might change from night to night - but following his post-"Bridge" comeback this quirkiness sometimes bordered on the genuinely bizarre.



    His previous UK visit to Ronnie Scott's club in January of the same year was full of tales of Rollins odd behaviour: dressing room impersonations: opening numbers begun in a taxi outside the club: rows of tambournines adorning his waistband: wandering off into Gerrard Street during his sets, still playing: Stetson hats: raincoats on stage: periods of swishing the horn to and fro without blowing into it. Most importantly Rollins proved hands down to anyone who thought he might not have anything new to say that he did, and how.



    Sometimes it emerged in great unending set long cadenzas leaving his accompanists trailing like a royal entourage outpaced by an eager monarch. At other times, it spluttered and appeared sporadically as if from an airlocked tap. What it was however was uniformly fascinating. Lewis Gilbert's son was a huge Rollins fan and caught him at Ronnie's and persuaded his father that this immense creative mind could come up with a film score fitting with this modern tale about the emotional growth of a cynical lothario.



    Right from the off things were fraught with panic due to Rollins apparent disregard for the deadlines of the job. Ronnie Scott, booked to play on the soundtrack session, visited the tenorist in his hotel room on the day prior to the first session and was shocked to discover that Rollins had only written a few bars. "How should we treat this music?" asked Scott.



    "Treat It Lightly", replied Rollins. And so it was.



    The sessions held at Twickenham studios in October 1965 in reality couldn't have taken place had Rollins not had a group of jazz musicians under his sometimes compulsive direction. The finest UK talent had been called in, including Tubby Hayes, Stan Tracey, Phil Seamen, bassist Johnny Hawkesworth and guitarist Dave Golberg and things were more or less conceived mutually as the scenes ran on screen. As such only eleven minutes of music was completed, and occaisionally Rollins worked with methodical precision only to announce at the end of the day that he'd like to scrap everything and try again. The perplexing situation wasn't aided by a few little creative perks between sessions.



    Finally, after three fretful days, Gilbert had his score in the can and when the film debuted the next year the bursts of Rollins maverick tenor throughout were among its highlights.



    Due to the paucity of music, a soundtrack album - then as now a useful marketing tie-in - was inconcieveable but Rollins record company of the day, Impulse, saw fit to cash in with an extended version of the melodies for the movie. A one day session under the baton of the brilliant arranger Oliver Nelson tied things up swiftly and resulted in a record which continues to delight Rollins fans.



    As such, things are still pretty brief at just over half an hour as Nelson more or less treats the entire album as a suite, returning with echoes of previous themes throughout. The set nonetheless contains two acknowledged classic Rollins improvisations:



    "Alfie's Theme" the jaunty hipsters anthem has a solo from Rollins which takes in everything from strident "outside" playing to the deepest of grooves, topped by a similarly inventive outing from pianist Roger Kellaway.



    The ballad "He's Younger Than You Are" is the tenorist at his tenderest, coming and going without the faintest hint of anything saccharine, and must surely rank as one of Rollins finest 1960s recordings.



    If there is any drawback to the album, they are the criminal underuse of the accompaying band. Kenny Burrell gets some space, but Phil Woods, J.J. Johnson and Jimmy Cleveland remain within their respective sections.



    The final irony of this album is that "Malcolm Loves His Dad", written for the scene in which Michael Caine realises his young son regards another man as his father, was incorrectly credited to Rollins by Oliver Nelson, when in fact the theme had been worked out on the soundtrack sessions by Stan Tracey. Years later Tracey tried for a settlement but to no avail.



    This album is best heard as part of Rollins entire body of work for Impulse, including the magnificent "On Impulse" and the abstract "East Broadway Rundown", which united him with Elvin Jones."






  12. #52
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    Wow! Thanks Batman for your hard work and you Doc Robert...will try the CD. I still think it was one of the most powerful end credit sequences ever! Shame they used the song in later prints.

    Film Man.

  13. #53
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    According to imdb...



    "On its original release, the film had an all instrumental soundtrack, by Sonny Rollins. The Oscar nominated song, by Bacharach and David, was added for the American release, and to a British re-release. For the UK release, the song was sung by Cilla Black over the end credits, which went to #9 on the British charts. For the US release, the song was originally to be sung by Dionne Warwick over the end credits, but was replaced at the last minute by the version sung by Cher. Ironically, Warwick's version outperformed Cher's on the Billboard charts."

  14. #54
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    I agree about those end titles - beautiful. That didn't sound like Dionne Warwick to me, Hugh, I think that was Cher's recording again. For the record, the US Billboard chart placings, in chronological order, were:



    Cher ... #32 in 1966



    Cilla Black ... #95 in 1966



    Dionne Warwick ... #15 in 1967



    Eivets Rednow ... #66 in 1968



    The latter's instrumental version (harmonica) might have done better if he'd used his 'real' name:

    Eivets Rednow is Stevie Wonder spelt backwards.



    I will upload an amazing YouTube video of Stevie performing his version of Alfie at the '70s Music Clips' thread after this message.

  15. #55
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    All this info...I'm just trying to re-create the 35mm print I projected in 1966 at The Ritz Tonbridge..in Technicolor and Techniscope...not interested in later versions and what was altered...just the version Lewis Gilbert signed Jazz genius, Sonny Rollins up to score!

    Film Man.

  16. #56
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    My step mother, Joanne Foster appears in this film.



    it is a shame I never got to meet her.

  17. #57
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    Do you mean Julia Foster (as her name is on the credits)? At least you have her at your call, thanks to modern technology...most of us just have a crumpled photo. Movies live on.

    Film Man.

  18. #58
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    yeah sorry, I also know an actress called Joanne Foster, got them mixed up - Julia Foster who is also Ben Fogel's mum, which I guess makes him my half step brother or something, he is lovely apparently, but its probably a bit late for all that kind of thing.

  19. #59
    Member Country: UK Shandonbelle's Avatar
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    Ive only seen trailers for the remake but I know I would still prefer the original...Michael Caine is very real and natural, playing the lovable rogue, but with more going on beneath the devil may care surface, as we get glimses of his more vunerable side, especially his love towards his child...and when he thinks he might be ill in the docs surgery. Even though he seems like a player with women at the same time he doesnt actually gain much from his relationships, so its hard to be totally unsympathetic towards him. I think its great film and really captures the feel of the era.

  20. #60
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    Alfie is one of my all time favourites, Michel Caine's performance was superbly comic as well as powerful, and stood out even amongst the wealth of talent that supported his role, the scene where he returns to his flat, after Vivien Merchant has undergone a backstreet abortion is heart rending, as the sudden realisation that his devil may care attitude to women and sex, has a high price, even though we never see the aborted Baby, the look on Caine's face conveys the utmost saddness, and the shock that he is the instigator of a terrible crime, utterly superb!!!



    I absolutely refuse to watch the remake, in fact i refuse to watch any remake!

    Using the Excuse "oh it has been updated for todays audiences" in my opinion is just a load of Bullsh**t, great performances will endure forever, why then do they feel the need to remake these Classic films, can the modern Audiances, not understand the storylines if they are not performed by modern, and often substandard actors, it is almost as if they are saying "sorry but what this film needs is a million pounds worth of Special effects, so that people can follow the plot better"

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