137 user 106 critic

An Ideal Husband (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 30 June 1999 (USA)
1:58 | Trailer
London 1895: Cabinet minister, Sir Chiltern, and bachelor, Lord Goring, are victims of scheming women.


Oliver Parker


Oscar Wilde (play), Oliver Parker (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Vaughan ... Phipps
Rupert Everett ... Lord Goring
Minnie Driver ... Mabel
Cate Blanchett ... Gertrude
Ben Pullen ... Tommy Trafford
Marsha Fitzalan ... Countess
Julianne Moore ... Mrs Cheveley
Lindsay Duncan ... Lady Markby
Neville Phillips ... Mason
John Wood ... Lord Caversham
Jeremy Northam ... Sir Robert
Nickolas Grace ... Vicounte de Nanjac
Simon Russell Beale ... Sir Edward
Anna Patrick ... Miss Danvers
Delia Lindsay ... Lady Basildon


Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed. Sir Robert turns for help to his friend Lord Goring, an apparently idle philanderer and the despair of his father. Goring knows the lady of old, and, for him, takes the whole thing pretty seriously. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He just doesn't know it yet.


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Rupert Everett starred in the film version of The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), the play they attended in the movie. See more »


Lord Goring's jacket is buttoned, then unbuttoned, then buttoned again as he explains Lady Chiltern's letter to Lord Chiltern, Mabel and Lady Chiltern herself near the end of the film. See more »


Gertrude: Yes, Arthur, it is Robert himself who wishes to retire from public life.
Lord Arthur Goring: Rather than risk losing your love, he would do anything. Has he not been punished enough?
Gertrude: We've both been punished. I set him up too high.
Lord Arthur Goring: Do not set him down now too low.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits list Oliver Parker, the director, as playing "Bunbury", one of the gentlemen that is seen playing cards with Lord Goring in the Men's Club when Lord Chiltern arrives. Bunbury is also a never-seen character in "The Importance of Being Earnest", the play which is performed in the background of several scenes of this film. See more »


Version of BBC Play of the Month: An Ideal Husband (1969) See more »

User Reviews

This isn't "Ideal"
30 June 1999 | by EdRooneySee all my reviews

`An Ideal Husband' Rupert Everett stars as Lord Arthur Goring, a bachelor who's ex-finance (Julianne Moore) comes strolling back into town with a secret. The secret threatens to expose Lord Goring's friend Sir Robert (Jeremy Northham) and his wife (Cate Blanchett). Set in 1894 London, and adapted from the stage play by Oscar Wilde, `Husband' is the latest costume drama where `scandal' and `society' are the buzzwords and tedium is the audience's reaction. Oliver Parker directed the 1995 Shakespeare flick `Othello' with a burning pace and a slick cast led by Laurence Fishburne. That film was deeply entertaining and showed that Parker was capable of making the most mundane work seem fresh again. With `Husband', Parker seems to have forgotten this gift. Relying on the lame drama, the film utterly fails whenever the actors get serious. These costume films are just all the same. The plots seem to bleed into each other, the actors all give the identical interpretations. I could easily predict how the score would sound, the lighting arranged, and each actor's enunciation. I am losing my patience for this genre (the recent mega-disappointment `The Winslow Boy') and I pray this well has run dry. I am so used to Rupert Everett's 3 week old kitten purr of a voice, I immediately thought he was all wrong for the part of a dashing leading man. Rupert is a very handsome guy, but his acting up to this film has left a lot to be desired. In `Husband', it takes time, but he soon becomes the film's saving grace. It's a funny performance stuffed with cynicism and wit. Julianne Moore equals Everett with style and venom. She's in the middle of a real career defining period(`Boogie Nights', `Cookie's Fortune'), and this film adds to the list of smashing performances. Minnie Driver and Cate Blanchett bring up the rear of actors here. Ms. Driver looks just about as animated as I've seen her, and Ms. Blanchett looks lovely beyond words. Both are given very little to do, thus a huge waste of talent occurs. That is tough to watch. `Ideal Husband' isn't my idea of a good time. The seniors in the audience that I watched it with disagreed. I feel very open minded to most intelligent films, I mean, come on, I'm never picky. It's just these repressed society-`they're just like us!'-corset and tea-'improper!' films have GOT TO GO. I can't handle another 45 minute subplot about spilled tea again. Don't we have a reserve of gay coming of age films ready to fill up the art houses? French films about the degradation of society? Anything, please.---------- 3

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 137 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



UK | France | USA



Release Date:

30 June 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An Ideal Husband See more »


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$192,802, 20 June 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Holiday Movies on Prime Video for the Whole Family

Prime Video has you covered this holiday season with movies for the family. Here are some of our picks to get you in the spirit.

Get some picks

Recently Viewed