7.3/10
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The Importance of Being Earnest (1986)

Algernon "Algy" Moncrieff (Rupert Frazer) and Jack Worthing (Paul McGann) discover that they have been "Bunberrying", that is, assuming different identities in order to enjoy themselves in ... See full summary »

Director:

Stuart Burge

Writer:

Oscar Wilde (play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Woodnutt ... Lane
Rupert Frazer Rupert Frazer ... Algy
Paul McGann ... Jack
Joan Plowright ... Lady Bracknell
Amanda Redman ... Gwendolen
Gemma Jones ... Miss Prism
Natalie Ogle ... Cecily
Alec McCowen ... Dr. Chasuble
John Quarmby ... Merriman
Peter Copley ... Gribsby
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Storyline

Algernon "Algy" Moncrieff (Rupert Frazer) and Jack Worthing (Paul McGann) discover that they have been "Bunberrying", that is, assuming different identities in order to enjoy themselves in a guilt-free manner. Jack's pretending to be his foolish younger brother, Ernest in order to be a model of moral rectitude to his young ward, Cecily Cardew (Natalie Ogle). Jack intends to propose to Gwendolen Fairfax (Amanda Redman). That is until he discovers that she loves him because his name is Ernest. He sets about being rechristened. And when Cecily intends to meet her bad cousin Ernest, and Algy seizes the opportunity, it will take the imperious Lady Bracknell (Dame Joan Plowright), Miss Prism's (Gemma Jones') recollections about her handbag, and an army list to clear the matter up, and allow true love to run its course. Written by Kathy Li

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Plot Keywords:

farce | based on play | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1988 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Theatre Night: The Importance of Being Earnest See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The premiere Broadway production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" opened at the Lyceum Theater in New York City on April 22, 1895, ran for twelve performances and has been revived in New York City eight times since, as of 2010. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) just after Miss Prism says 'there is the lady who can tell you who you really are', a microphone can be seen at the top of the screen. See more »

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User Reviews

 
fairly good but something of a curio
3 January 2008 | by didi-5See all my reviews

DVD notes for this adaptation claim it is not the 'four act version of the play' - without reference to the text I can't say for sure what has been added or subtracted. However, the play as most of us know it remains intact.

As Jack and Algy, Paul McGann and Rupert Frazer are OK but not fantastic. Joan Plowright is an interesting Lady Bracknell, but not really my idea of the character. And Amanda Redman impresses as Gwendolyn. In minor roles Gemma Jones and Alec McCowen provide the characters of Prism and Chasable with comic relief, not always the best policy but one which works here.

Rather pedestrian and not likely to disturb memories of Redgrave/Denison/Evans in the 1950s, this Earnest is rather more of a damp squib than a raging flame.


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