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An Ideal Husband (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 30 June 1999 (USA)
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Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed.... See full summary »



(play), (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Neville Phillips ...
Nickolas Grace ...


Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed. Sir Robert turns for help to his friend Lord Goring, an apparently idle philanderer and the despair of his father. Goring knows the lady of old, and, for him, takes the whole thing pretty seriously. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He just doesn't know it yet.


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

30 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un esposo ideal  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£492,309 (UK) (16 April 1999)


$18,535,191 (USA) (1 October 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When guests are being announced at the political party in the beginning of the movie, the name "Lord Windemere" is called. "Lady Windermere's Fan" is the title of another popular Oscar Wilde play dealing with sullied reputations. See more »


Several MPs including Lord Caversham are shown wearing top hats in Parliament. MPs didn't (and still don't) wear hats during a session of the House, unless they are raising a Point of Order while a vote is in progress. See more »


Lady Markby: And you know, I can't help feeling that this disturbing new thing, this higher education of women, will deal a terrible blow to happy married life.
Laura: The higher education of men is what I should like to see. Men need it so sadly.
Lady Markby: They do, dear. But I'm afraid such a scheme would be quite unpractical. I don't think man has much capacity for development. He has got as far as he can, and that is not far, is it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits list Oliver Parker, the director, as playing "Bunbury", one of the gentlemen that is seen playing cards with Lord Goring in the Men's Club when Lord Chiltern arrives. Bunbury is also a never-seen character in "The Importance of Being Earnest", the play which is performed in the background of several scenes of this film. See more »


Version of An Ideal Husband (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Talks more and says less as it goes on
27 January 2000 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Comedy plays like those that Oscar Wilde are tough to do; go one way, and it's too smug and arch, go another and it's too labored and drawn out. Adapter Oliver Parker avoids the first part but stumbles into the second. Obviously, in this post-Lewinsky era, he probably felt he could make a timely statement about politicians, and he handles that part without grandstanding. But this is essentially a comedy, and while we start out brightly, the end slows it down to a crawl. To be fair, it's hard work to appear effortless(as Cary Grant proved), but the comedy suffers because of it. Certainly Rupert Everett is effortless enough, and he's not only good in of himself, but everyone else is at ease when acting with him(I particularly like his sparring with Minnie Driver). But while the rest of the cast is good(though Northam looks uncomfortable at times), they get caught when the movie slows down. It's too bad, because there are good things here, but as Wilde might say, it talks more and says less as it goes on.

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An Ideal Husband or The Importance of being Ernest? FineEyes_PertOpinions
Goring and Mabel. Does *any*one else think this is wrong? moviegoer36
Lord Goring's Lover? lkpurdy
They got the meaning of the title wrong Bookluvr221
Julianne Moore Wendolene_Ramsbottom
the play within the movie mwlin
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