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Critics' Picks

'The Trials of Oscar Wilde'

March 20, 1994|Kevin Thomas

When it was released in 1960, this timeless British film only had minor distribution and was up against the near-simultaneous "Oscar Wilde," with Robert Morley. Morley resembled Wilde more closely than Peter Finch (pictured, with Yvonne Mitchell), but Finch here is remarkable. Written and directed by Ken Hughes, this is a captivating period piece that introduces us to Wilde at the height of his fame and fortune. Yet Wilde, at 40, was already in the thrall of a disastrous infatuation with the pretty wastrel, Lord Alfred Douglas (Jon Fraser). What ensues is both a crackling good courtroom drama and a powerful work of social protest (TNT Thursday at 10:15 p.m.).

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