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An Ideal Husband (1999)

| Comedy, Romance | 1999 (UK)
Rising politician Robert Chiltern once sold secret information and is now being blackmailed by Laura Evely. She has proof and it will damage his career and marriage severely. Chiltern calls in the help of his friend Arthur Goring.


William P. Cartlidge (as Bill Cartlidge)


Oscar Wilde (play), William P. Cartlidge (adaptation) (as Bill Cartlidge)




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Wilby ... Robert Chiltern
Sadie Frost ... Laura Cheveley
Jonathan Firth ... Arthur Goring
Trevyn McDowell ... Gertrude Chiltern
Robert Hardy ... Lord Caversham
Karen Hayley Karen Hayley ... Mabel Chiltern
Prunella Scales ... Lady Markby
Tyler Butterworth ... Phipps
Tamara Beckwith ... Margaret Marchmont
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson ... Olivia Basildon
Roger May Roger May ... Vicomte de Nanjac
Mark Gillis Mark Gillis ... Tommy Trafford
Tom McCabe Tom McCabe ... Baron Arnheim
Philip Clayton Smith ... Photographer (as Philip Clayton-Smith)
Portobello Portobello ... Pop Band


Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful politician, leading a happy life with his wife Gertrude. Gertrude loves him because of his honesty and she despises all men who did horrible things in the past and have to do other immoral deeds to cover up what they're ashamed of. One day a certain Mrs. Laura Evely barges in on a party Robert is attending. She disappeared from the London society six years ago, but is now back with a vengeance. Mrs. Evely has invested in a project that Robert already has denounced as swindle and in fact he wants to start a special commission investigating the matter. But Laura has some important information that will harm Roberts career and his relationship with his wife severely. Laura wants him to publicly support the project or else she will disclose the proof that Robert once sold secret information from the government to a speculator. Chiltern calls in the help of his good friend lord Arthur Goring. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


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Release Date:

1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Eszményi férj See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Wilde's successful 1893 play opened in New York City, New York, USA on 12 March 1895, and there were two revival productions on Broadway. See more »

Crazy Credits

Karen Hayley's riding gear by Rebecca at Swaine Adeney. Very special thanks to the shareholders of Wilde Films, plc. See more »


Version of An Ideal Husband (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Too Serious a Matter
20 July 2006 | by tributarystuSee all my reviews

While I enjoy Wilde in all the ways a man is supposed to, I'd dare say that there are times when even his brilliance cannot compensate the blunders of others.

This being said, I'll be concise: Mr. Cartlidge's adaptation of Wilde's play takes itself far too serious to work and while this is bearable in itself, the questionable caliber of the actors' performances adds another tedious and gross layer upon an otherwise totally lovable affair. The result is an even, blunt and only partly entertaining production which retains some of its initial values, but misses out on its potential. I do not doubt that any work of art can have unlimited interpretations (although I do not agree to this conception because we are, most unfortunately, limited, pitiful creatures), but only some are rewarding for the masses, with this being a rather lukewarm experience.

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