IMDb > An Ideal Husband (1947)
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An Ideal Husband (1947) More at IMDbPro »


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6.5/10   363 votes »
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Lajos Biró (screenplay)
Oscar Wilde (play)
View company contact information for An Ideal Husband on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1948 (USA) See more »
"An Ideal Husband has to look to his future...a woman has to look to her past!"
A prominent politician is preparing to expose a financial scandal. But then a woman who has invested... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Enjoyable, not really great See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Alexander Korda 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Lajos Biró  screenplay (as Lajos Biro)
Oscar Wilde  play

Produced by
Philip Brandon .... associate producer (as Phil Brandon)
Alexander Korda .... producer
Hugh Stewart .... associate producer
Original Music by
Arthur Benjamin 
Cinematography by
Georges Périnal  (as Georges Perinal)
Film Editing by
Oswald Hafenrichter 
Costume Design by
Cecil Beaton 
Makeup Department
Dorrie Hamilton .... makeup artist
U.P. Hutchinson .... makeup artist
Gladys Weston .... hair stylist
Production Management
Jack Clayton .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bluey Hill .... assistant director
Art Department
Joseph Bato .... associate art director
Vincent Korda .... set designer
Scott Slimon .... fabric designs
Bill Beavis .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Peter Mullins .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Cox .... sound supervisor
Red Law .... sound mixer
Leo Wilkins .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
W. Percy Day .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Denys N. Coop .... camera operator (as Dennis Coop)
Edward Scaife .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Hubert Clifford .... conductor: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (as Dr. Hubert Clifford)
Other crew
Joan Bridge .... associate colour director
Natalie Kalmus .... color director
Alexander Korda .... presenter
Peggy McClafferty .... continuity
Elizabeth Montagu .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min | UK:125 min (original version)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Finland:S | Sweden:Btl | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1987) | USA:Approved (PCA #12764) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Vivien Leigh was originally intended for the role of Laura Cheveley.See more »
Sir Robert Chiltern:And what prizes did you get, Mrs. Cheveley?
Mrs. Laura Cheveley:My prizes came a little later on in life. I don't think any of them were for good conduct.
Sir Robert Chiltern:I'm sure they were for something charming.
Mrs. Laura Cheveley:I don't know that women are always rewarded for being charming. I think they are usually punished for it.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Remade as An Ideal Husband (2000)See more »
With Sword and LanceSee more »


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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Enjoyable, not really great, 4 June 2009
Author: bensonj from New York, NY

This film doesn't have a very good reputation, e.g., "slow moving" (Maltin) and "a slight, stiff play is swamped by the cast" (Halliwell). IMDb comments are mixed. Well, it does have the limitations one would expect from Korda filming a period play in lavish Technicolor. It is pictorially static, with overly bright colors. For the most part, the actors' voices are animated but their bodies are strangely inert. But in general I thought this wasn't that bad an adaptation, somewhat better than the trendy 1999 version, if only because Korda understood the period he was filming. It seems to me that Wilde's plot complications have been smoothed out a bit here (his name is not even on the credits!) so that the solution follows the problem too quickly and the whole thing can be over in 96 minutes and still have a spectacular recreation of crowds in period costume at the Ascot races. (Perhaps this is an unfair comment since IMDb notes that an original version was a half-hour longer.) With the casting and the spirited performance of Goddard, Mrs. Cheveley becomes the most animated and virile character in the film. Lady Chiltern's conception of morality should stem from a vigorous, naive idealistic vision. She should be a dynamic, slightly-otherworldly treasure with a fairytale view of the world and be the core of the film, for the plot hinges on her vision of purity. The casting and somewhat stodgy performance of Wynyard in the role weakens the story. The character becomes merely an upright, slightly stuffy moralist. Hmmm. Perhaps the criticisms directed at the film are justified. In spite of this, I quite enjoyed this, my third go-around with the play. The Importance of Being Earnest is perhaps more witty and amusing, but this story has a much more provocative drama at its core, with interesting things to say about ethics, morality and idealism. I find it odd that it is universally described as a comedy. Certainly there's a lot of pithy, epigrammatic dialogue, and some light moments, but the basic story is a clear-cut moral drama. The anguish of Sir Chiltern and his wife is real, the stakes are high and virtually life-threatening, and the moral decisions are agonizing.

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