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An Ideal Husband (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 30 June 1999 (USA)
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 »

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

He just doesn't know it yet.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

30 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un esposo ideal  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£492,309 (UK) (16 April 1999)

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of three films based on works by Oscar Wilde directed by Oliver Parker. The other two are The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) and Dorian Gray (2009). See more »

Goofs

Lord Goring's jacket is buttoned, then unbuttoned, then buttoned again as he explains Lady Chiltern's letter to Lord Chiltern, Mabel and Lady Chiltern herself near the end of the film. See more »

Quotes

Lord Arthur Goring: There's somebody I want you to talk to.
Lord Caversham: What about?
Lord Arthur Goring: About me, sir.
Lord Caversham: Not a subject on which much eloquence is possible.
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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 »

Connections

Version of BBC Play of the Month: An Ideal Husband (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Wit, depth and beauty - Will Wilde follow Shakespeare to Hollywood?
18 June 1999 | by (North Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

As I left this movie, someone said "How nice to see an intelligent movie!"

The risk going in was that it would be ONLY an intelligent - or at least clever - piece, all period manners and costumes. In fact, with all the Oscar Wilde wit which sounds wonderfully fresh here, there are also rich moments of emotional depth throughout this amusing but also quite moving film.

One theme here - touching in hindsight - is how little it can take to destroy a reputation - Wilde was later to have some of the most painful possible firsthand experience of this. But the central question here, which anchors the humor and beauty that decorate it, is the cost of rigorous, even rigid, honesty. And the growth of the central characters on this point shines through, even through the dance of wit and farce.

Underpinning this is a surprising faith in human nobility, quite in contrast to the ironic persona Wilde maintained. It struck me while watching it both that Wilde had very French characteristics - a continental finesse, the love of repartee - and yet was profoundly an English writer by virtue of his faith in fair play and the bonds of (platonic) male friendship.

In fact, Lord Goring, whose world-weary ways make him something of a surrogate for Wilde, is a distant cousin to Sidney Carton in coming to the defense of a 'nobler' friend even at great (possible) sacrifice to himself. His very lack of seriousness is what makes his efforts on behalf of his friends so moving.

With this, the pure visual beauty of actors like Cate Blanchett and Rupert Everett, matched by sumptuous costumes and sets, adds a sensuous element which, in a lesser film, might have dominated the movie. They, with Minnie Driver in cheeky comic form and Julianne Moore sweetly evil and superbly English, make it a delight both to watch and to savor later as tart food for thought.


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