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The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and ... See full summary »

Director:

Brian Gilbert

Writers:

Julian Mitchell (original screenplay), Richard Ellmann (based on the book by)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Fry ... Oscar Wilde
Jude Law ... Lord Alfred Douglas
Vanessa Redgrave ... Lady 'Speranza' Wilde
Jennifer Ehle ... Constance Wilde
Gemma Jones ... Lady Queensberry
Judy Parfitt ... Lady Mount-Temple
Michael Sheen ... Robbie Ross
Zoë Wanamaker ... Ada Leverson 'Sphinx'
Tom Wilkinson ... The Marquess of Queensberry
Ioan Gruffudd ... John Gray
Matthew Mills Matthew Mills ... Lionel Johnson
Jason Morell Jason Morell ... Ernest Dowson
Peter Barkworth ... Charles Gill
Robert Lang ... C.O. Humphreys
Philip Locke ... Judge
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Storyline

The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and responsibility with his obsessive love for Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed Bosie. After legal action instigated by Bosie's father, the enraged Marquise of Queensberry, Wilde refused to flee the country and was sentenced to two years at hard labor by the courts of an intolerant Victorian society. Written by Peter Samuelson <petersa1@tribeca.ios.com>

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Taglines:

The story of the first modern man See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

"Wilde" official site

Country:

UK | Japan | Germany

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

1 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oscar Wilde See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,424, 3 May 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,157,701, 8 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Marc Samuelson, despite acknowledging that Stephen Fry was the perfect choice to play Oscar Wilde, found it difficult to obtain financing due to Fry's lack of star power. See more »

Goofs

When Bosie enters Oscar's room in the country house, a picture to the left of the door reflects a studio light and later, when Bosie sits down, the boom. See more »

Quotes

Lady Mount-Temple: Well, of course, there must be censorship or people would say what they meant, and then where should we be?
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Crazy Credits

The credits are in the style of the black-ink drawings of Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898), leading artist of the Aesthetic movement and colleague of Wilde for whom he illustrated the text of "Salome" in 1894. In the opening credits the pictures reflect the character being played or suggest the role in the production team. See more »

Connections

Referenced in BBC Proms: Prom 2: Music from Great British Films (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Ah, Leave me not to Mine Alone
from "The Pirates of Penzance"
Words and Music by W.S. Gilbert (as Gilbert) & Arthur Sullivan (as Sullivan)
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User Reviews

sympathetic reassessment of Wilde
17 October 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

This film was one of the best to appear in the late 90s, and is a sensitive, involving, honest and moving biography of one of the greatest writers of the Victorian era, the infamous Oscar Wilde.

More realistic and better played than previous studies of the writer (Robert Morley and Peter Finch both played Wilde in the 1950s), this film benefits greatly from a cracking performance by Stephen Fry in the lead. Not even regarded as an actor, more of a comedian, prior to this, Fry (himself gay, and something of an intellectual) puts across all the nuances and contradictions of the subject perfectly.

This Wilde is torn between what is accepted love (his wife, and children), and the 'love that dare not speak its name' (primarily his destructive relationship with the needy, selfish and petulant Lord Alfred Douglas, played here by Jude Law in the role which brought him to world attention). We see his charm and conviction when creating his plays or amusing friends, we also see his weaker side and why he was the cause of his own eventual arrest and imprisonment, we see how prison changed him and - as he wrote himself in De Profundis - broke his spirit and his health.

Watch out for other, now big, names in the cast - Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Sheen, Orlando Bloom - alongside the established players such as Vanessa Redgrave (Oscar's mother, Sperenza), Jennifer Ehle (Lady Constance Wilde), Tom Wilkinson (Marquess of Queensbury, Bosie's father), Gemma Jones (Bosie's mother), and Judy Parfitt.

A fitting musical score, a smattering of Wilde's epigrams, and a large chunk of his children's story 'The Selfish Giant' (driving and commenting on the action at key points) leave this film close to perfection when detailing the story of the misunderstanding of another age, not too far back from our own.


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