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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?


West Wycombe Park, the filming location for the exterior of Jack's country estate, also served as one of the filming locations for an earlier film in which several of the actors also have co-starred: Another Country (1984) (featuring Colin Firth, Rupert Everett and Anna Massey. See more »


When Jack and Algy are picking flowers, and Gwendolen and Cecily ride through the woods sidesaddle, their legs change sides from the left (correct) to the right. See more »


Algy: I really don't see what is so romantic about proposing. One may be accepted - one usually is, I believe - and then the excitement is ended. The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the funeral for Bunbury, Colin Firth's Earnest is seen getting a tattoo of "Gwendolyn" on his posterior 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

I loved it!
24 June 2003 | by (Liverpool, England) – See all my reviews

There do seem to be some scathing reviews here, but I have to say that I loved it!

I first started by reading the play, then watching the 1952 version, and then this latest reworking. The cast were absolutely stellar, though I'd go along with the criticism that they were just a little too deadpan in places. The sheer quantity of wit and wordplay in this script make it difficult to keep up, and it's often only in a reading that you realise that just about every other line is a hilarious gag.

I really can't understand an earlier criticism that a viewer couldn't make out any of the dialogue. I though it was wonderfully recorded with crystal clear diction throughout, but maybe that's an international difference. I'm lucky to make out about one third of anything the children say in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.

Anyway - it was well filmed, great locations, and wonderful wit delivered by beautiful people. I loved it.

28 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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