|THE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE (director/director: Ken Hughes; screenwriters: from the book by Montgomery Hyde and a play. "The Stringed Lute," by John Furnell; cinematographer: Ted Moore; editor: Geoffrey Foot; music: Roro Doodwin; cast: Peter Finch (Oscar Wilde), Lionel Jeffries ( John Sholto Douglas, Marquis of Queensberry), James Mason (Sir Edward Carson), Nigel Patrick (Sir Edward Clarke), John Fraser (Lord Alfred Douglas), Sonia Dresdel (Lady Wilde), James Booth (Alfred Wood), Maxine Audley (Ada Leverson), Paul Rogers (Frank Harris), Ian Fleming (Arthur, the Wilde Butler), Laurence Naismith (Prince of Wales); Runtime: 123; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Harold Huth/Irving Allen/Albert R. Broccoli; Kingsley International Pictures (MGM); 1960-UK)|
Finch gives a moving performance as Wilde."
by Dennis Schwartz
The daring film for the time, because of its homosexual subject matter, was a box-office failure in the States-one of the few places it opened. It is lushly photographed. The heterosexual Australian actor Peter Finch gives a moving performance as Wilde. John Fraser is fine as the handsome and petulant young Lord Alfred Douglas. The court battles result in Wilde's downfall. But the court scenes, with James Mason as the foe of the Victorian era playwright, do not have the power those scenes deserved.
It was produced at a time when homosexual behavior was illegal in most countries and its depiction on screen was censored in 1960 Great Britain. The ban on homosexual depictions lasted there until 1961. Though the film was still banned by local censorship boards. In 1960 another film on Wilde's trials, filmed in b/w, based on a 1936 play, came out at the same time starring Robert Morley as Wilde.
REVIEWED ON 8/4/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ