21 years after the release of Wilde, a film starring Stephen Fry in the titular role, and based on Richard Ellmann’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the English novelist, poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince continues where the first biographical film left off – but there’s no romanticising of the tempestuous life of the legendary writer here.
The Happy Prince focuses on Wilde’s final years. Upon his release from Reading Gaol after serving two years hard labour for what was termed “gross indecency” at the time, Wilde is exiled to France, where he spends the remaining years of his life.
The epitaph on Oscar Wilde’s tomb in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris features a verse from one of his last written works, The Ballad of Reading Gaol:
And alien tears will fill for him
Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.
Indeed, this is the story of a man who, despite his wide-ranging influence on English literature, was an outcast who would only be pardoned for his supposed crime in 2017, when his name, along with the names of 50,000 other men accused of homosexual acts was officially cleared under the so-called Alan Turing law.
This is an important part of Oscar Wilde’s story. Watch the trailer for The Happy Prince below.
To listen to our discussion about the much anticipated film, tune into Rainbow Talk on Friday, 5 October between 12:00 and 15:00 CAT on GaySA Radio – where you are family.