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An Ideal Husband (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | February 1948 (USA)
A prominent politician is preparing to expose a financial scandal. But then a woman who has invested heavily in the shady venture threatens to uncover a damaging secret in the politician's ... See full summary »


Alexander Korda


Lajos Biró (screenplay) (as Lajos Biro), Oscar Wilde (play)




Complete credited cast:
Paulette Goddard ... Mrs. Laura Cheveley
Michael Wilding ... Viscount Arthur Goring
Diana Wynyard ... Lady Gertrude Chiltern
Hugh Williams ... Sir Robert Chiltern
C. Aubrey Smith ... Earl of Caversham, Goring's Father (as Sir C. Aubrey Smith)
Glynis Johns ... Miss Mabel Chiltern, Sir Robert's sister
Constance Collier ... Lady Markby
Christine Norden ... Mrs. Margaret Marchmont
Harriette Johns ... Olivia, Countess of Basildon
Michael Medwin ... Duke of Nonesuch
Michael Anthony ... Viscomte de Nanjac
Peter Hobbes Peter Hobbes ... Mr. Eddie Montford
John Clifford John Clifford ... Mr. Mason, the Chiltern Butler
Fred Groves Fred Groves ... Phipps, Goring's Butler
Michael Ward Michael Ward ... Mr. Tommy Tafford


A prominent politician is preparing to expose a financial scandal. But then a woman who has invested heavily in the shady venture threatens to uncover a damaging secret in the politician's past if he exposes the speculation as a fraud. His problem is compounded by his wife's intolerance of the slightest character flaws. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"An Ideal Husband has to look to his future...a woman has to look to her past!"


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 »


At several points the matte paintings at the top of the screen are poorly matched with the live footage below. This is particularly visible in the opening Hyde Park Corner scene where some of those riding in carriages 'lose' their heads or hats behind the trees that are supposedly in the background. On the Chiltern's grand staircase, and in the House of Commons lobby the join between both parts of the shot is also visible. See more »


Mrs. Laura Cheveley: Do you think it is quite charming of you to be so rude to a woman in your own house?
Viscount Arthur Goring: In the case of a very fascinating woman, sex is a challenge, not a defense.
Mrs. Laura Cheveley: I suppose that is meant as a compliment. Oh my dear Arthur, women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That's the difference between the two sexes.
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Version of An Ideal Husband (2002) See more »


Mot d'Amour
Music by Edward Elgar
Arranged by Arthur Wood
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User Reviews

Classy version of Wilde in glorious Technicolor
6 March 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Directed by Alexander Korda, costumed by Cecil Beaton. This is a good start for any movie, but when it is based on one of Oscar Wilde's great comedies, this starts to look like a real goodie.

The cast puts Diana Wyngard as Lady Chiltern, Hugh Williams as Lord Robert, Michael Wilding as Lord Goring, Constance Collier as Lady Markby, Glynis Johns as Miss Chiltern, and C Aubrey Smith as Goring's father, Lord Caversham. With them is Paulette Goddard, mainly known for her work in the USA, as Mrs Cheveley, the woman who 'looks like she has a past'. Now, An Ideal Husband can be witty and clever, or it can be screamingly funny and farcical (I saw a wonderful stage production which was firmly the latter): the film chooses wit over low comedy, perhaps the right idea as it works very well. The ladies are sumptuously costumed as you would expect, while the script barely tampers with the original stage play.

In comparison to the slightly later movie of The Importance of Being Earnest, this film bears up well. The cast is almost ideal and work together extremely well, and the colour certainly helps (as it did in Earnest too). Well worth a look.

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Release Date:

February 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An Ideal Husband See more »

Filming Locations:

Hyde Park, London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


GBP500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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