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The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

When Algernon discovers that his friend, Ernest, has created a fictional brother for whenever he needs a reason to escape dull country life, Algernon poses as the brother, resulting in ever increasing confusion.

Director:

Anthony Asquith
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Redgrave ... Ernest Worthing
Richard Wattis ... Seton
Michael Denison ... Algernon Moncrieff
Walter Hudd ... Lane
Edith Evans ... Lady Bracknell
Joan Greenwood ... Gwendolen Fairfax (Her Daughter)
Dorothy Tutin ... Cecily Cardew
Margaret Rutherford ... Miss Prism
Miles Malleson ... Canon Chasuble
Aubrey Mather ... Merriman
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Storyline

Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff are two men that are both pretending to be someone they are not. Written by Simone Denvile

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They don't come any wilder than Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners, morals and morality!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1952 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Ernst sein ist alles See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edith Evans had problems adjusting to film acting, particularly when it came to hitting her marks on the floor. She finally told Anthony Asquith, "I always feel the camera should come to me instead of me go to the camera." See more »

Quotes

Lady Bracknell: I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try and acquire some relations as soon as possible, and to make a definite effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either sex, before the season is quite over.
Jack Worthing: Well, I don't see how I could possibly manage to do that, Lady Bracknell. I can produce the hand-bag at any moment. It is in my dressing-room at home. I really think that should satisfy you, Lady Bracknell.
Lady Bracknell: Me, sir! What has it to do with me? You can hardly imagine that I and Lord ...
See more »

Connections

Version of Kak vazhno byt seryoznym (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

a truly Wilde production
16 April 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Oscar Wilde's most famous play is given an extremely stage-bound reading in this colour adaptation by Anthony Asquith. It evens starts and ends with the raising and lowering of a theatre curtain!

That aside this is probably the essential Wilde movie – not only do we get the main four role perfectly cast (Michael Redgrave as Jack, Michael Denison as Algy, Dorothy Tutin as Cecily, Joan Greenwood as Gwendolen), we also have two of the most delightfully eccentric portrayals in the history of cinema with Margaret Rutherford as Miss Prism, and, of course, Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell. Who could resist the way Dame Edith says ‘a handbag!'

A hugely enjoyable movie which makes sure none of the wit is lost in unnecessary padding or setting – something the makers of the recent remake could learn from.


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