Michael Caine's first starring role was a foray into dramatic irony, scripted by Bill Naughton from his novel and play. Alfie (Caine) is a charming, rogueish Cockney who cannot get his fill of women. He uses them without shame or malice, jumping from one promiscuous female's bed to another without much thought or feeling. Of course, Alfie's not as carefree as he would have the audience -- to whom he often speaks directly -- think: he treats his pregnant, common-law wife, Gilda (Julia Foster), quite shabbily, and has an affair with a married woman (Vivien Merchant) that leaves her pregnant, for which Alfie arranges an abortion. In the end, Alfie never finds lasting meaning or pleasure but remains an unrepentant, if low-class, Don Juan. Caine was Oscar-nominated for his performance.