When Algernon discovers that his friend, Ernest, has created a fictional brother for whenever he needs a reason to escape dull country life, Algernon poses as the brother, resulting in ever increasing confusion.
Algy and Jack discover that they have both been "Bunberrying", that is, assuming different identities in order to enjoy themselves in a guilt-free manner. Jack's pretending to be his ... See full summary »
To maintain the play's theatricality, Anthony Asquith opened his film version by having a couple enter a theatre box. Their programs were used to display the film's opening credits, and the curtain rose on the rest of the film. See more »
Oscar Wilde's language is exquisitely spoken by the English cast that made, what should be considered, the definitive version of the play. The most important thing is the poetry all these actors were able to bring to the film, which reflects a bygone era; it is music to one's ears.
Anthony Asquith directed and adapted the play in ways that it never feels it's filmed theater. The director achieves a coup in casting Dame Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell, in one of her best appearances on the screen. Her Augusta is just what one expects a Victorian English lady to be like. Although Ms. Evans is not on screen all the time, she completely dominates the action. Even if one knows Ms. Evans is giving an exaggerated portrait of a society lady, she is delightful to watch as one stays riveted to her movements, facial expressions in making this woman come alive for us.
Michael Redgrave and Michael Denison, two dashing young actors, at the time, are a joy to see. The fastidious Jack, and his friend, Algenon, have excellent opportunities in which to shine. The same goes for the two female leads, Joan Greenwood and Dorothy Tutin, are perfectly cast as Gwendoline and Cecily, the love interests of Jack and Algenon. The redoubtable Margaret Rutherford is seen as Miss Prism, who is the key to solving the mystery in the plot.
"The Importance of Being Earnest" is a classic that was made at the legendary Pinewood studios and it shows the British cinema at its best.
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