7.4/10
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9 user 2 critic

The Importance of Being Earnest (1986)

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 »

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Storyline

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 foolish younger brother, Ernest in order to be a model of moral rectitude to his young ward, Cecily. Jack intends to propose to Gwendolyn--that is until he discovers that she loves him because his name is Ernest. He sets about being rechristened. And when Cecily intends to meet her bad cousin Ernest, and Algy seizes the opportunity, it will take the imperious Lady Bracknell, Miss Prism's recollections about her handbag, and an army list to clear the matter up, and allow true love to run its course. Written by Kathy Li

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farce | based on play | See All (2) »

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Comedy

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29 May 1988 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Theatre Night: The Importance of Being Earnest  »

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Trivia

Lady Bracknell was offered to Coral Browne. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) just after Miss Prism says 'there is the lady who can tell you who you really are', a microphone can be seen at the top of the screen. See more »

Connections

Version of The Importance of Being Earnest (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"But you know what I am going to say!" "Why, yes, however, you haven't said it yet!"
22 April 2010 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

We watched this in English class tonight, as part of exploring British humor; Half a dozen(one of whom seems to be largely unfamiliar with aforementioned subject) students(and the teacher), and hardly any time passed where there wasn't at least one person laughing. I myself couldn't help it, for nearly every moment of it. Honestly, had there not been hours between my viewing of Eddie Murphy's Raw(an entirely different animal, albeit both are rather hilarious) and this, I might have required some form of resuscitation. Wilde delivered a farce and comedy of manners, in other words, an exaggerated(bordering on the absurd) plot and characters, and poking fun at the classes(particularly, and in this case, the upper one), and his wit, insight and parody are all impeccable. There are jokes in this that hold up to this very day, such as when it is mentioned that there is a woman who has been 35 "ever since she turned 40". It is all in the words, verbal; in what is said and precisely how it is expressed. Oscar mocks the utter superficiality of the kind of people he presents us with in this. They aren't being hypocritical in all their excessive politeness towards one another; there simply is nothing else there. He also comments on the fact that the gender roles were unfair at the time(and remain so, to an extent, to this day) by effectively swapping them, highlighting the injustice. The cast is great, and they are all good actors. This is helped, as well, by the two young women being quite attractive; you understand why their suitors fall for them. While I have not read the entire play, this appears to be it in its entirety(the most commonly known version, not the four-act one), and just about completely verbatim. As far as technical aspects go, this is well-done; essentially, it is performed on a set and filmed. And yet the lighting is not off for a single frame, the editing lacks only occasional minor refining, and the blocking leaves little to be desired(with perhaps one brief exception). I suppose if you want an "adaptation", this won't satisfy you; if you want an experience comparable to going to the (live) theater for this, this is for you. There is one thing in this that is going to bother... well, the majority of us today, since values have changed, and a particular one(that is treated as normal in this) is today, and not unreasonably so, considered to be disgusting. I recommend this film to any fan of the man(R.I.P.) who wrote the original. 8/10


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