A prominent politician is preparing to expose a financial scandal. But then a woman who has invested heavily in the shady venture threatens to uncover a damaging secret in the politician's ... See full summary »
A prominent politician is preparing to expose a financial scandal. But then a woman who has invested heavily in the shady venture threatens to uncover a damaging secret in the politician's past if he exposes the speculation as a fraud. His problem is compounded by his wife's intolerance of the slightest character flaws. Written by
Directed by Alexander Korda, costumed by Cecil Beaton. This is a good start for any movie, but when it is based on one of Oscar Wilde's great comedies, this starts to look like a real goodie.
The cast puts Diana Wyngard as Lady Chiltern, Hugh Williams as Lord Robert, Michael Wilding as Lord Goring, Constance Collier as Lady Markby, Glynis Johns as Miss Chiltern, and C Aubrey Smith as Goring's father, Lord Caversham. With them is Paulette Goddard, mainly known for her work in the USA, as Mrs Cheveley, the woman who 'looks like she has a past'. Now, An Ideal Husband can be witty and clever, or it can be screamingly funny and farcical (I saw a wonderful stage production which was firmly the latter): the film chooses wit over low comedy, perhaps the right idea as it works very well. The ladies are sumptuously costumed as you would expect, while the script barely tampers with the original stage play.
In comparison to the slightly later movie of The Importance of Being Earnest, this film bears up well. The cast is almost ideal and work together extremely well, and the colour certainly helps (as it did in Earnest too). Well worth a look.
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