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The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

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



(play), (screenplay)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cyril Shaps ...
Pew Opener
Guy Bensley ...
Christina Robert ...


Two young gentlemen living in 1890's England use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") on the sly, which is fine until they both fall in love with women using that name, which leads to a comedy of mistaken identities... Written by arson83

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everybody Loves Ernest... But Nobody's Quite Sure Who He Really Is.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »





Release Date:

21 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ernst sein ist alles  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$500,447 (USA) (24 May 2002)


$8,378,141 (USA) (27 September 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scenes where Rupert Everett slaps Colin Firth on his rear end and where Everett kisses Firth's cheek were ad libs. Director Oliver Parker thought Firth's stunned reaction was so humorous he decided to leave them in. See more »


During the song "Lady Come Down" Jack leans against a pillar at the foot of the stairs with one leg crossed in front of the other. The leg that is in front changes from left to right, and back to left again as the camera angle changes. See more »


Gwendolyn: Where questions of self-sacrifice are concerned, men are infinitely beyond us!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits the main characters attend the funeral of the late departed Bunbury. Rupert Everett and Colin Firth argue while singing "Lady Come Down". See more »


Referenced in Charmed: The Importance of Being Phoebe (2003) See more »


Lady Come Down
Music written by Charlie Mole
Lyrics by Oscar Wilde
Performed by Colin Firth and Rupert Everett
Courtesy of Fragile Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Witty and fun
14 June 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Films like this need to be more widely available. It was showing at one theater 45 miles from my house, but it was worth the drive to go and see it. The script was witty, and seemed to be fairly true to the Oscar Wilde play (at least a lot of the funniest lines were retained). What a great cast! Colin Firth and Rupert Evert were both wonderful as rogues. I loved the "fight" scene!! As did most of the others in the theater, as there was lots of laughter all around. Reese Witherspoon did a good job with her British accent, and she and Frances O'Connor were both a lot of fun to watch. Judi Dench was marvelous, as usual. I highly recommend this movie...it wasn't really deep or anything, just very funny!

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