Oscar Wilde has been called the first martyr of the gay movement. This film, with its double entendre title, depicts the events and court actions which led to the conviction and imprisonment of Wilde in 1895 on charges of “gross indecency”. It also depicts Wilde’s part in his demise. The intensity of the dark prejudice and murderous hatred for homosexual men illustrated in this story seem nearly unbelievable, yet still exist in certain parts of our world. The film does not spare us the horror of the destruction of Wilde’s life, yet manages to include many quotes of Oscar Wilde’s famous extravagant wit. There are excellent performances by Peter Finch as Wilde, Lionel Jeffries as the Marquis of Queensbury, and James Mason as Queensbury’s attorney.
- Written by Fred Mimmack, MD
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