6.9/10
12,950
132 user 105 critic

An Ideal Husband (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 30 June 1999 (USA)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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 »

Director:

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In mid-1800s England, Oscar is a young Anglican priest, a misfit and an outcast, but with the soul of an angel. As a boy, even though from a strict Pentecostal family, he felt God told him ... See full summary »

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Cate Blanchett, Ciarán Hinds
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The romantic myth is exposed for Guy when he is plagued by memories of an old girlfriend on his wedding day.

Director: Cherie Nowlan
Stars: Richard Roxburgh, Cate Blanchett, Frances O'Connor
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young Scottish woman joins the French Resistance during World War II to rescue her Royal Air Force boyfriend who is lost in France.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Cate Blanchett, James Fleet, Abigail Cruttenden
Paradise Road (1997)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Fact-based recounting of a group of women who are imprisoned on the island of Sumatra by the Japanese during World War II and used music as a relief to their misery.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Glenn Close, Frances McDormand, Pauline Collins
Little Fish (2005)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Set in the Little Saigon district outside of Sydney, a woman (Blanchett) trying to escape her past becomes embroiled in a drug deal.

Director: Rowan Woods
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An emotionally-beaten man with his young daughter moves to his ancestral home in Newfoundland to reclaim his life.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench
Heaven I (2002)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman takes the law into her own hands after police ignore her pleas to arrest the man responsible for her husband's death, and finds herself not only under arrest for murder but falling in love with an officer.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Remo Girone
Elizabeth (1998)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Irish journalist writes a series of stories about drug dealers.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young refugee traveling from Russia to America in search of her lost father falls for a gypsy horseman.

Director: Sally Potter
Stars: Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, Oleg Yankovskiy
Parklands (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Rosie returns to her home city on the death of her father, a former policeman. His diaries hint at corruption, and she also receives hints and veiled threats which support her suspicions. ... See full summary »

Director: Kathryn Millard
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Tony Martin, Carmel Johnson
Edit

Cast

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

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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un esposo ideal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£492,309 (UK) (16 April 1999)

Gross:

$18,535,191 (USA) (1 October 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "An Ideal Husband" by Oscar Wilde opened at the Lyceum Theatre on March 12, 1895. Broadway revivals were produced in 1918 and 1996. See more »

Goofs

At the reception at the Chiltern's home, Sir Robert is requested to meet the Indian Ambassador. In 1895 India was a British possession and there could not be such an Ambassador who represents only independent states. See more »

Quotes

Gertrude: Yes, Arthur, it is Robert himself who wishes to retire from public life.
Lord Arthur Goring: Rather than risk losing your love, he would do anything. Has he not been punished enough?
Gertrude: We've both been punished. I set him up too high.
Lord Arthur Goring: Do not set him down now too low.
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 »

Connections

Version of An Ideal Husband (1947) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Good, but it could have been great
6 July 1999 | by (Newton, MA) – See all my reviews

If I weren't so lazy, I would have checked the original play to see if my favorite line from the movie was in it:

Goring's father: I use nothing but my common sense. Goring: So my mother tells me.

Even if was concocted for the film, that line still contains the essence of Wilde and the essence of all modern British humor, for which, I should say, I'm a major sucker. While watching An Ideal Husband, I didn't object to the lack of suspense as long as Rupert Everett was working his way around those Wilde lines, which he does as well as anyone I've ever heard.

I used to think Stephen Fry was Wilde on earth, but Fry is something wonderfully different -- Everett is Wilde on earth, or at least the actor that Wilde should have had around to deliver those lines when he wrote them. I first saw Everett in The Madness of King George, for which he put on weight. Every review of that film mentioned this; I thought the attention excessive, but when I saw him lying shirtless in a sauna, I understood. The man is, shall we say, cut. I can only imagine the effect of that scene on straight women or gay men -- probably something akin to the effect Greta Scacchi's "I think we're alone now" smile at the end of The Coca-Cola Kid has on me.

An Ideal Husband is full of good performances, with one glaring exception: the usually great Julianne Moore. Her scenes are curiously leaden, and Parker -- whose fault this may be -- has the camera linger over her as though the exposure will convince us how evil she is. The one exception is her scene with Everett, which has a real "Will he sleep with the enemy?" tension. It may be that Moore was just outclassed by the Brits, who are born to this stuff.

Cate Blanchett, whom I've seen in three movies, two of which were British period pieces, continues to amaze me with her range.

The unsung hero of the movie is Jeremy Northam, who takes a thankless role -- the man in the play who isn't the Oscar Wilde figure -- and makes it emotionally compelling. He is responsible for the play's only real suspense and emotion, since the rest is word games, more or less.

All of which leads me to blame the production's shortcomings on its writer/director, Oliver Parker. He seems to have squandered an outstanding cast. The play's final scene is played as a series of French scenes -- a film term for a series of different scenes in the same location -- and this kills any momentum that scene might have had.

Three out of four stars, I say, which makes it better than 90% of the movies out there.


28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Discuss An Ideal Husband (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page