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The Importance of Being Earnest
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The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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The Importance of Being Earnest -- Starring Reese Witherspoon (LEGALLY BLONDE), Colin Firth (BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY), and Rupert Everett (MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING), here is the hilarious adventure of two dashing young bachelors and the outrageous deceptions they find themselves in over love!
The Importance of Being Earnest -- In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.


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Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Oscar Wilde (play)
Oliver Parker (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Importance of Being Earnest on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 June 2002 (USA) See more »
Everybody Loves Ernest... But Nobody's Quite Sure Who He Really Is.
In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Should I see this film? It is rather Quixotic... but I think you should try. See more (140 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Rupert Everett ... Algy

Colin Firth ... Jack

Frances O'Connor ... Gwendolen

Reese Witherspoon ... Cecily

Judi Dench ... Lady Bracknell

Tom Wilkinson ... Dr. Chasuble

Anna Massey ... Miss Prism

Edward Fox ... Lane

Patrick Godfrey ... Merriman
Charles Kay ... Gribsby
Cyril Shaps ... Pew Opener

Marsha Fitzalan ... Dowager

Finty Williams ... Young Lady Bracknell
Guy Bensley ... Young Lord Bracknell
Christina Robert ... Duchess of Devonshire

Kiera Chaplin ... Girl in Gambling Club
Alexandra Kobi ... Girl in Gambling Club
Suzie Boyle ... Dancer
Kate Coyne ... Dancer
Bernadette Iglich ... Dancer
Polli Redston ... Dancer
Elaine Tyler-Hall ... Dancer
Gillian Winn ... Dancer
Holly Collins ... Dancer
Kit Dickinson ... Dancer
Suzanne Thomas ... Dancer
Charlie Mole ... Musical Butler
Darrell Kok ... Musical Butler
Judd Procter ... Musical Butler
Martin Knowles ... Musical Butler
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Greg Bennett ... Gentleman (uncredited)

Sacha Bennett ... Jenkins the Gamekeeper (uncredited)
Ray Donn ... Gambler (uncredited)
Neil Findlater ... Tricycle Man (uncredited)

Sonja Morgenstern ... Lady at the Savoy (uncredited)
Louise Rhian Poole ... Lady at the savoy (uncredited)

Directed by
Oliver Parker 
Writing credits
Oscar Wilde (play "The Importance of Being Earnest")

Oliver Parker (screenplay)

Produced by
David Brown .... co-producer
Uri Fruchtmann .... executive producer
Barnaby Thompson .... producer
Original Music by
Charlie Mole 
Cinematography by
Tony Pierce-Roberts (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Guy Bensley 
Casting by
Celestia Fox 
Production Design by
Luciana Arrighi 
Art Direction by
Paul Ghirardani 
Set Decoration by
Ian Whittaker 
Costume Design by
Maurizio Millenotti 
Makeup Department
Nuala Conway .... assistant hair designer
Nuala Conway .... assistant makeup designer
Charmaine Fuller .... crowd hair stylist
Charmaine Fuller .... crowd makeup artist
Renata Gilbert .... crowd hair stylist
Renata Gilbert .... crowd makeup artist
Pat Hay .... makeup artist: Mr. Everett
Joe Hopker .... makeup artist
Peter King .... hair designer
Peter King .... makeup designer
Dianne Millar .... crowd hair stylist
Dianne Millar .... crowd makeup artist
Susan Parkinson .... key crowd hair stylist (as Sue Parkinson)
Susan Parkinson .... key crowd makeup artist (as Sue Parkinson)
Paula Price .... hair stylist
Paula Price .... makeup artist
Jamie Pritchard .... hair stylist: Mr. Everett
Barbara Taylor .... crowd hair stylist
Barbara Taylor .... crowd makeup artist
Production Management
Brian Donovan .... production supervisor
Hugh Gourlay .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fiona Gosden .... third assistant director
Richard Hewitt .... first assistant director
Matthew Penry-Davey .... second assistant director
Toby Sherborne .... assistant director
Art Department
John Addison .... carpenter
Steve Alder .... carpenter
Robert Allen .... stagehand
Bill Bernie .... stand-by painter (as William Bernie)
Lee Biggs .... carpenter
John Casey .... carpenter
Joe Cassar .... carpenter
Alalia Chetwynd .... scenic artist
Anna-Maria Chetwynd .... graphics artist
Larry Cooch .... painter
Nick Cosens .... dressing props
Rick Dunning .... stand-by stagehand
Andy Evans .... construction coordinator
Trevor Eve .... painter
Ronald Fallen .... painter
Gary Fox .... dressing props
Mark Fruin .... stand-by props
James Gemmill .... scenic artist
Alan Gooch .... painter (as Alan Cooch)
Michael Gooch .... carpenter
Ian Green .... supervising carpenter
Warren Greenham .... painter
Kate Grimble .... assistant art director
Mark Guest .... prop storeman
Michael Harm .... art department assistant
Ralph Harrison .... carpenter
Terry Heggarty .... painter
Andrew Hobbs .... carpenter
Dominic Hyman .... stand-by art director
Patricia Johnson .... draughtsman
Andrew Mash .... carpenter
Kieron Mcnamara .... stand-by props
Mark McNeil .... stand-by props (as Mark Venn Mcneil)
Joe Monks .... painter
Charlotte Pearson .... art department coordinator
Clifford Rashbrook .... stagehand
Brian Read .... property buyer
Mark Reynolds .... assistant property master
Denis Rich .... storyboard artist
Paul Sansom .... carpenter
Lee Shelley .... painter
Barry Smalls .... stand-by carpenter
Colin Smith .... supervising chargehand
Graham Stickley .... dressing props
Anthony Szuch .... drapes master
Josephine Warne .... art department assistant
Paul Wescott .... supervising painter
Steve Westley .... dressing props
Arthur Wicks .... property master
Steve Williamson .... painter
Will Ayres .... props (uncredited)
Rohan Harris .... paintings (uncredited)
Sound Department
Ben Barker .... foley editor
Simon Changer .... assistant sound engineer
Colin Cooper .... adr recordist
Mark DeSimone .... adr engineer
Richard Dunford .... sound effects editor (as Rick Dunsford)
Stan Fiferman .... foley artist
Stephen Gilmour .... sound maintenance
Matthew Gough .... sound re-recording mixer
Bruce Gray .... adr recordist
Diane Greaves .... foley artist (as Dianne Greaves)
Steve Hancock .... sound studio technician
Steve Hancock .... sound re-recording engineer
Tom Hannen .... ProTools operator
Mystique Holloway .... assistant sound editor
Max Hoskins .... supervising sound editor
Peter Maxwell .... additional sound re-recording mixer
John Midgley .... sound mixer
Kath Pollard .... adr recordist
June Prinz .... boom operator
Adrian Rhodes .... sound re-recording mixer
James Seddon .... dolby consultant
Ted Swanscott .... adr mixer
Nick Watson .... sound consultant: Dolby
Dan Edelstein .... supervising sound editor: US release (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Alex Gurucharri .... special effects senior technician
Tom Harris .... special effects supervisor
Barry Woodman .... special effects technician
Visual Effects by
Simon Frame .... visual effects supervisor
Tom Hocking .... digital compositor: men-from-mars
Gruff Owen .... digital compositor
Tom Hocking .... digital artist (uncredited)
Danielle da Costa .... stunt double
Steve Dent .... stunt coordinator
Kim McGarrity .... stunt double
Mark Mottram .... stunt double: Rupert Everett
Rocky Taylor .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Arnold .... electrician
Sam Barnes .... clapper loader: second unit
Jacob Barrie .... camera trainee
Jacob Barrie .... clapper loader: "b" camera
David Brown .... director of photography: second unit
Paul Chedlow .... still photographer
Alan Coates .... generator operator (as Alan 'Pockets' Coates)
Charlie England .... assistant camera
Charlie England .... clapper loader: second unit
John Ferguson .... focus puller
Tommy Finch .... gaffer
Dogan Halil .... Steadicam operator: second unit
Leo Holloway .... video playback operator
Oliver Loncraine .... clapper loader (as Oliver Loncraine)
Paul Mills .... stand-by rigger
Nic Milner .... camera operator: second unit
Dean Morrish .... underwater first assistant camera
Darren Quinn .... grip
Ralph Ramsden .... focus puller: second unit
Keith Sewell .... Steadicam operator: second unit
Philip Sindall .... camera operator: second unit
Tony Skinner .... electrician
Chyna Thomson .... assistant camera: "b" camera, second unit
Roger Tooley .... Steadicam operator
Roger Tooley .... Steadicam operator: second unit
John Turner .... electrician
Mike Valentine .... underwater camera
George White .... best boy (as George 'Spike' White)
Casting Department
Louis Elman .... adr voice casting
Alex Johnson .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Anthony Brookman .... wardrobe master
Giovanni Casalnuovo .... assistant costume designer (as Gianni Castelnuovo)
Wendy Cole .... seamstress
Alleyne Kirby Davies .... costume maker
Nicola Foy .... costume assistant
Annie Hadley .... chief costume cutter
Zoe Harvey .... head dresser
Linda Lashley .... seamstress
Pernilla Lindfors .... seamstress
Marcus Love-McGuirk .... key costume supervisor
Marcus Love-McGuirk .... wardrobe supervisor
Anne Nichols .... seamstress
Lucilla Simbari .... costume assistant
Mike Skorepa .... crowd supervisor
Rupert Steggle .... wardrobe master
Janet Tebrooke .... wardrobe mistress
Mariano Tufano .... assistant costume designer
Mariano Tufano .... costume supervisor
Dominic Young .... costume maker
Editorial Department
Tania Blunden .... post-production (as Tania Windsor Blunden)
William Blunden .... editor trainee
John Ensby .... laboratory contact
Laura Evans .... assistant editor
Mike Fraser .... negative cutter
Lalit Goyal .... assistant editor
Peter Hunt .... color timer
Lionel Johnson .... assistant editor
Steve Mercer .... first assistant editor
Matthew Streatfield .... trainee assistant editor
Music Department
Darrell Alexander .... music producer
Geoff Alexander .... conductor
Geoff Alexander .... orchestrator
Simon Chamberlain .... musician: Algy's piano
Simon Chamberlain .... orchestrator
Simon Changer .... assistant music engineer
Sophie Cornet .... music editor
Esther Goodhew .... musicians contractor: Cool Music Ltd.
Chris Nicolaides .... composer: additional music
Chris Nicolaides .... music programmer
Mike Ross-Trevor .... music mixer
Mike Ross-Trevor .... music recordist
Nigel Stone .... additional music editor
Eliza Thompson .... music supervisor
Transportation Department
Darren Thackeray .... driver
Other crew
Lucy Backhouse .... location scout
Jonny Benson .... floor runner
Jake Bogert .... assistant to producer
Sebastian Dewing .... stand-in
Penny Dyer .... dialogue coach
Stephen Earner .... assistant production accountant
Karen Fayerty .... unit nurse
Sasha Gibson .... unit publicist
Ben Gladstone .... location scout
Gavin Hale .... stand-in
Kate Hazell .... location assistant
Alison Horton .... stand-in
John Kearney .... horse wrangler
Kevin Kolovich .... assistant: Maurizio Millenotti
Alex Lau .... location runner
Kate Lee .... unit publicist
Nichola Martin .... assistant: Barnaby Thompson
Christian McWilliams .... location manager
Luke Morris .... production executive
Hermione Ninnim .... production coordinator
Rufus Rawley .... crowd coordinator
Jo Rogers .... head of development: Fragile Films
Quinny Sacks .... choreographer
Tom Stourton .... location scout
Elian Strong .... assistant coordinator
Richard Topping .... production runner
Claire Tovey .... location assistant
Tony Tucker .... boat wrangler
Dianne Twiddy .... accountant
Louise Wade .... script supervisor: second unit
Alex Warder .... accounts assistant
Beverly Winston .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG for mild sensuality
97 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:G | Canada:PG | France:U | Germany:0 | Iceland:L | Malaysia:U | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:7 | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:14 (canton of the Grisons) | UK:U | USA:PG

Did You Know?

The premiere Broadway production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" opened at the Lyceum Theater (New York City) on April 22, 1895, ran for 12 performances and has been revived in New York City eight times since as of 2010.See more »
Continuity: Gwendolen is shown driving a car out to Jack's country house. However, later in dialog with Cecily taken from the original play, she mentions having taken the train out. Later, Lady Bracknell mentions them both returning by train, which would have left the car in the country.See more »
Lady Bracknell:I have always been of the opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?
Jack:I know nothing, Lady Bracknell.
Lady Bracknell:I am pleased to hear it. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a very delicate exotic fruit. Touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately, in England at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor's Square.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Importance of Being Earnest (1946) (TV)See more »
Lady Come DownSee more »


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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Should I see this film? It is rather Quixotic... but I think you should try., 11 June 2004
Author: MidniteRambler from London

Wealthy London bachelor Jack Worthing falls for Gwendolen, cousin of London socialite Algy, who has in turn fallen for Jack's ward, Cecily. Amongst other barriers to both relationships is the determination of both ladies to marry men called Ernest, leading Algy and Jack to pretend that Ernest is, indeed, their given name. Another stumbling block is the ubiquitous Lady Bracknell, Algy's aunt and Gwendolen's mother, who refuses to accept Jack as a suitor for her daughter because he was a foundling, discovered as a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station. Playwright Oscar Wilde put into Lady Bracknell's mouth some of the most delicious comments in stage history: "To be born, or at any rate bred, in a handbag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution".

The story follows the ups and downs and deceits of the two men whilst they pursue Gwendolen and Cecily, dogged by Algy's creditors and Lady Bracknell, whose opposition to Jack's origins proves insurmountable. On the way we learn of Jack's brother who does not exist yet manages to die in a Paris boarding house, and Algy's invalid friend Bunbury who also never drew breath yet nevertheless explodes on the advice of his physician. The situation remains unresolved until the final scene, when all the protagonists have collided at Jack's country estate.

This interpretation of Oscar Wilde's play may not suit purists. Oliver Parker takes a few liberties with the original, adding a couple of off-the-wall touches such as Gwendolen having "Ernest" tattooed on her rear end. None of this detracts from the film precisely because this is a film and not a filmed play and as a stand-alone movie this is highly enjoyable fare and remains graced by Wilde's eternal and inimitable wit.

The cast, too, is outstanding. Reese Witherspoon as Cecily mastered an English accent and, along with Colin Firth as Jack, Frances O'Connor as Gwendolen and Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell (Aunt Augusta), is first-rate; the film also boasts Edward Fox, Tom Wilkinson and Anna Massey in supporting roles. Lastly, no-one plays Wilde's nihilistic, aristocratic and insouciant wasters quite like Rupert Everett, who was designed for such parts.

Oscar Wilde's play is timeless and priceless and his wit dominates the proceedings; matched to a cast with the acting talent of this troupe, it does not fail. Wilde and English period drawing room comedies are an acquired taste and, for those unsure of their nature, can be distinguished by the conspicuous absence of gunfire, vulgar Anglo-Saxonisms, explosions, wizards, references to def-con 2, giants, breasts, giant breasts and Steven Seagal: if any of these is your cup of tea, look elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you want to watch a team of gifted actors delivering with great aplomb some of the smartest dialogue in English literary history, The Importance of Being Earnest is not a bad way to spend an hour or two.

"Is Miss Cardew at all connected with any of the larger railway stations in London? I only ask because until yesterday I had no idea that there were any families or persons whose origin was a terminus."

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Importance fans, any other good movies? mallorynicole68
Family Tree? Relationship b/n Prism and Bracknell boybandboy
Jack/Gwendolen question Lady_Gwen
Stupid little thing that makes me crazy-- is this in the play? lynnrnsd
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Bunbery Funeral sarahew239
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