Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Biography - Oscar Wilde |
A&E DVD Archives
Actor: Oscar Wilde
Genres: Television, Documentary
The life of the legendary writer and wit who was the toast of London in the 1890s, but who ended his days alone after a homosexual affair led to his imprisonment. Using a surprising wealth of archival material, including h... more »
And what an extraordinary life it was
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oscar Wilde is one of the most extraordinary, flamboyant personalities that will ever walk the face of the earth. I thought I knew him to some degree, but this video showed me that I didn't truly understand him at all. Given his lifestyle, I probably never will truly understand Oscar Wilde, but at least now I have a foundation of facts upon which to build my opinions. I pictured him as a dandy little fellow, but he stood 6'2" and could certainly hold his own when push came to shove. I knew he was arrested for his choice of lifestyle, but I had little understanding of the magnitude of his fall from grace, and I had no idea he had a wife and two children. He was an amazing man. Here I am, a Victorian at heart, a man who could not oppose Wilde's way of life more strongly than I do, a man who agrees with the arrest and imprisonment of Wilde for his actions (after all, he did knowingly violate English law of the time), yet I can't help but respect and admire the man - his courage to do and say whatever he wanted, his incredible self-confidence, and his genius.Oscar Wilde accomplished something quite extraordinary as a young man - he achieved fame before he actually had anything to show for himself. Long before he was a successful writer and playwright, he was the toast of London; his conversation skills may well be unmatched in the annals of history, and he easily charmed and floated among the elite sections of London society. His story-telling skills kept listeners rapt and constantly in stitches, and his lectures on the aesthetic movement were a big hit when he toured America at the age of 27. Only in 1890 would he achieve any sort of literary success - The Picture of Dorian Gray was a scandalous assault on Victorian values; readers loved it, and Wilde reveled in the notoriety. He would go on to produce a number of popular plays, but trouble began brewing in 1891 when he (at age 36) fell in love with a 19-year-old Oxford student named Alfred "Bosie" Douglas. Basically forgetting his wife and children, the two men began a physical relationship, and soon Wilde had begun his forays into the homosexual underworld of London. Homosexuality had been made a crime some years earlier in England, and the sense of danger only added to Wilde's reckless pursuits. It led to his downfall, arrest, imprisonment, and destitution. This video does an excellent job explaining how Wilde's world came crashing down around him and makes clear just how miserable a life he led, alone for the first time, in the few years between his release from prison and his death at age 45. When Wilde was convicted of gross indecency, his name was removed from playbills, he was abandoned by all of his friends and admirers, and he lost everything he had; this man who had always spent more than he earned (even when he was earning incredible sums of money), had absolutely nothing, and the story of his final years is a tragic one. It's really quite amazing that his literary works were resurrected by 1920, securing him the fame and notoriety in death that he once thrived on in life. I know so much more about Oscar Wilde now, having seen this video, than I ever did before. He is an important man, a permanent fixture in pop culture, and a brilliant writer who will fascinate, impress, and shock us for all the years to come. You owe it to yourself to take a look at this man's extraordinary life."
kitjank | Hunt Valley, MD United States | 06/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wilde is one of my favorite writers. I thought this bio was pretty good. However it's really difficult to fit the life of such a man into a 50 min. dvd. I think it should have been longer to really do justice, but unless you are a fan, it may be too much to sit through. All in all I thought this was a good into to a great man."