11 user 2 critic

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 »


Stuart Burge


Oscar Wilde (play)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Richard Wattis, Michael Denison
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Why would the same man call himself "John" in the country and "Ernest" in the town?

Stars: Fehinti Balogun, Fiona Button, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In 1890's England, two friends use the pseudonym, Earnest, for their on-the-down-low activities, add in love and a strange coincidence and things get very funny.

Director: Adrian Noble
Stars: David Suchet, Emily Barber, Michael Benz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Directors: Brian Bedford, David Stern
Stars: Brian Bedford, Amanda Leigh Cobb, Santino Fontana
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

At his mother's funeral, stuffy bank clerk Henry Pulling (Alec McCowen) meets his Aunt Augusta Bertram (Dame Maggie Smith), an elderly eccentric with more-than-shady dealings who pulls him ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Maggie Smith, Alec McCowen, Louis Gossett Jr.
The Rainmaker (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent insurance company.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes


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


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

farce | based on play | See All (2) »









Release Date:

29 May 1988 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Theatre Night: The Importance of Being Earnest See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


(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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed