64 user 33 critic

The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 15 August 1952 (Ireland)
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.


Anthony Asquith


Oscar Wilde (play)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




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


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


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


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Sir John Gielgud was offered the role of Jack Worthing in this movie. Even though it was one of his signature roles on stage, he turned it down because he disliked filming. See more »


Jack Worthing: You are quite perfect Miss Fairfax.
Gwendolyn Fairfax: Oh I hope I am not that. It would leave no room for developments, and I intend to develop in many directions.
See more »

User Reviews

The Importance of Being Edith Evans
3 January 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Delightful film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's superb play about Victorian-era English manners and mix-ups. The play and performances are so close to Mr. Wilde's original words, you really can't go wrong; although, on close inspection, there are clearly some logistical problems. For example, it is shot beautifully, but without a flourish or imagination worthy of Wilde. And, cameras emphasize things that wouldn't have mattered with the otherwise marvelous cast on stage. To be fair, the film acknowledges this in its execution.

Everyone is exemplary, but elderly Aunt Edith Evans really demands to be seen. She possess the role of "Lady Augusta Bracknell" for all eternity, and would be famous for merely uttering the two words "A handbag?" but, every word and phoneme slips sardonically from the mind of Oscar Wilde to dame Edith's tongue. Ms. Evans should have received some "Best Supporting Actress" notice, but this was released in 1952, not 1948, and American voters were favoring homegrown material.


******** The Importance of Being Earnest (6/2/52) Anthony Asquith ~ Michael Redgrave, Michael Denison, Edith Evans, Joan Greenwood

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Release Date:

15 August 1952 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Importance of Being Earnest See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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