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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

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

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Nanny: Homie-Work (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent adaptation!
18 December 2004 | by perfectbondSee all my reviews

I watched this film adaptation (and Oliver Parker's 2002 version as well) of Oscar Wilde's classic play The Importance of Being Earnest to complement my study of it for a 19th century English drama course. First I want to say, no matter what version(s) you choose to see, I strongly suggest you read the play first (its not that long). In some cases, the casting in the later film (specifically Reese Witherspoon as Cecily and Rupert Everett as Algy), made fifty(!) years later to be exact, seemed more appropriate but in my opinion Asquith's version captured the spirit of the text more succinctly. I must also say as well, however that since Asquith's version is essentially a staged play, there is little in the form of visual dynamism from the camera; in other words the film rests almost entirely on the strength of the performances. Happily, they do not disappoint.


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