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The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

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

Director:

Oliver Parker

Writers:

Oscar Wilde (play), Oliver Parker (screenplay)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Everett ... Algy
Colin Firth ... Jack
Frances O'Connor ... Gwendolen
Reese Witherspoon ... Cecily
Judi Dench ... Lady Bracknell
Tom Wilkinson ... Dr. Chasuble
Anna Massey ... Miss Prism
Edward Fox ... Lane
Patrick Godfrey ... Merriman
Charles Kay ... Gribsby
Cyril Shaps ... Pew Opener
Marsha Fitzalan ... Dowager
Finty Williams ... Young Lady Bracknell
Guy Bensley Guy Bensley ... Young Lord Bracknell
Christina Robert Christina Robert ... Duchess of Devonshire
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Storyline

Two young gentlemen living in 1890's England use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") on the sly, which is fine until they both fall in love with women using that name, which leads to a comedy of mistaken identities... Written by arson83

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everybody Loves Ernest... But Nobody's Quite Sure Who He Really Is.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

21 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ernst sein ist alles See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$500,447, 27 May 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,378,141, 29 September 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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


Goofs

During Cecily and Gwendolyn's outdoor tea, Cecily cuts a large slice of cake that is served to Gwendolyn and placed on the corner of the tea table. After the cake is cut, the scene clearly cuts ahead to the end of the tea. In the time that elapsed during this part of the scene, a servant easily could have come by and taken the plate explaining why in subsequent shots with both Cecily and Gwendolyn and later, when Jack and Algernon take the ladies' seats at the tea table, the cake and its plate are missing. See more »

Quotes

Jack: Good heavens, I suppose a man may eat his own muffins in his own garden.
Algy: But you have just said it was perfectly heartless to eat muffins!
Jack: I said it was perfectly heartless of YOU under the circumstances. That is a very different thing.
Algy: That may be, but the muffins are the same!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the funeral for Bunbury, Colin Firth's Earnest is seen getting a tattoo of "Gwendolyn" on his posterior See more »

Connections

Version of The Importance of Being Earnest (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Lady Come Down
Music written by Charlie Mole
Lyrics by Oscar Wilde
Performed by Colin Firth and Rupert Everett
Courtesy of Fragile Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

I loved it!
24 June 2003 | by unclepeteSee all my reviews

There do seem to be some scathing reviews here, but I have to say that I loved it!

I first started by reading the play, then watching the 1952 version, and then this latest reworking. The cast were absolutely stellar, though I'd go along with the criticism that they were just a little too deadpan in places. The sheer quantity of wit and wordplay in this script make it difficult to keep up, and it's often only in a reading that you realise that just about every other line is a hilarious gag.

I really can't understand an earlier criticism that a viewer couldn't make out any of the dialogue. I though it was wonderfully recorded with crystal clear diction throughout, but maybe that's an international difference. I'm lucky to make out about one third of anything the children say in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.

Anyway - it was well filmed, great locations, and wonderful wit delivered by beautiful people. I loved it.


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