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Expected to follow his opera star father into the business, but discontent with his life; a young man pursues a career in popular music and romances the aquatic-ballet dancer he met during his time in the service.
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
The original Broadway production of "An Ideal Husband" by Oscar Wilde opened at the Lyceum Theatre on March 12, 1895. Broadway revivals were produced in 1918 and 1996. See more »
Mrs. Laura Cheveley:
Do you think it is quite charming of you to be so rude to a woman in your own house?
Viscount Arthur Goring:
In the case of a very fascinating woman, sex is a challenge, not a defense.
Mrs. Laura Cheveley:
I suppose that is meant as a compliment. Oh my dear Arthur, women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That's the difference between the two sexes.
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Not everything Wilde wrote was a comedy through and through. This is more accurately a satire, and though the Wildean wit is definitely present, there are moments of drama and tension. Unfortunately, these moments are marred in this film by an underscoring which is inexplicably bright and merry, almost frenetic, and which undercuts the mood that the text and actors are trying to create. I'm not sure what Korda was attempting to do with such an intrusive score--perhaps he wanted to convey the frivolity of the "gay 90s" referred to in the opening voice-over?--but I'd love to see it without the annoying soundtrack. I imagine it would be quite a different movie.
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