6.9/10
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137 user 103 critic

An Ideal Husband (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 30 June 1999 (USA)
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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.... See full summary »

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Phipps
... Lord Arthur Goring
... Miss Mabel Chiltern
... Lady Gertrude Chiltern
... Tommy Trafford
... Countess
... Mrs. Laura Cheveley
... Lady Markby
Neville Phillips ... Mason
... Lord Caversham
... Sir Robert Chiltern
Nickolas Grace ... Vicomte de Nanjac
... Sir Edward
... Miss Danvers
... Lady Basildon
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

He just doesn't know it yet.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un esposo ideal  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£492,309 (United Kingdom), 18 April 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$198,802, 18 June 1999

Gross USA:

$18,535,191, 3 October 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "An Ideal Husband" by Oscar Wilde opened at the Lyceum Theatre on March 12, 1895. Broadway revivals were produced in 1918 and 1996. See more »

Goofs

The closing scene of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' is shown as taking place in a garden. That is the setting for Act 2; the final Act 3 takes place in 'The Morning-Room of the Manor-House, Woolton'. See more »

Quotes

Lord Arthur Goring: Yes, but the fact is, father, this is not my day for talking seriously.
Lord Caversham: What do you mean, sir?
Lord Arthur Goring: I mean that, during the season, father, I only talk seriously on the first Tuesday in every month. Between noon and three.
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 »

Connections

Remake of An Ideal Husband (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb filmmaking
19 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

To say that this film is a filmmaking tour de force would be a great injustice. It is far better than that. Oliver Parker's revitalizing of Oscar Wilde's classic play is filmmaking at its finest.

Every element of this film is superlative. Wilde's story as adapted to the screen by Parker is witty, intelligent and engaging from start to finish. Seldom can you find a story that attempts to be a romantic comedy, a tale of duplicity blackmail and betrayal, and a drama of political intrigue, and succeeds so well on all counts.

The intricate weave of deception, manipulation and double entendre along with comic misperception, irony and rapier witted dialogue are delicious and classic Wilde. This is a film you will want to see again and again, just to discover all the lines within the lines.

I cannot say enough about the brilliance of Oliver Parker's direction in this film. He has captured late 19th Century aristocratic England with vivid and rich images that put the viewer right into the period. David Johnson's cinematography is fantastic, with every scene working well as to lighting and color. The beautiful blend of colors in the costumes and the set always looked like they belonged together. Parker also provides numerous interesting camera angles that help dramatize the scenes. It serves to remind us that glorious films can still be made relying on the creative eye of the director rather than special effects.

The acting was delightful. Rupert Everett, as the self absorbed Lord Arthur Goring, delivers an exquisite performance as the unscrupulous rogue upon whom the mantle of truth and honor is laid.

Julianne Moore was delightful as the evil and cunning Mrs. Cheveley. As cold, manipulative and heartless as she is with Chiltern and Lady Chiltern, she is that vulnerable and helpless with Lord Goring, for whom she has long held a flame. Moore handles this emotional juggling act with great skill and you find yourself simultaneously loving her ingeniousness and hating her treachery.

Cate Blanchett turns in another wonderful performance as the oh-so-perfect, Lady Gertrud Chiltern. Jeremy Northam is also excellent as Robert Chiltern, the man of untouchable character with a scandalous secret in his past. Even Minnie Driver is charming as Robert's sister.

This is a terrific film for the refined viewer who appreciates all aspects of filmmaking. Even for those not into the art of filmmaking, it is simply great entertainment. I can think of no negative criticism of it. It is well written, directed, photographed and acted. It is filmmaking the way it was meant to be. A perfect 10.


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