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
"An Ideal Husband" from 1947 is not Oscar Wilde's most famous comedy, but it is funny nevertheless. This production is directed by Sir Alexander Korda with an English cast with the exception of Paulette Goddard. Goddard plays a "woman with a past," the overly-made up Lady Chevely, who attempts to blackmail Sir Robert Chiltern (Hugh Williams) so that he will encourage support for what is, in essence, a scam in which she has invested. Williams turns to a friend, Viscount Arthur Goring (Michael Wilding) for advice.
This is the type of material that can be hilarious or just charmingly witty, and Korda opted for the latter. As good as it is, the film is nearly upstaged by some of the most gorgeous costumes ever seen, designed by Cecil Beaton. They are truly eye-popping, as is the beautiful color process used in the film.
Everyone is good, including a young, pretty Glynis Johns as Chiltern's as yet unmarried sister, and Lady Diana Wynward as the very moral Lady Chiltern.
This film compares well with the 1999 version starring Rupert Everett, Cate Blanchett, and Julianne Moore. Moore perhaps exhibited a little more class than Goddard, but Goddard still does a good job. Well, you could certainly believe she was a "woman with a past" at any rate.
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