Of Being Earnest
1952 adaptation of Oscar Wildes
delightful play, The Importance Of Being
Earnest, exploits all the humour and
charm from the original, intriguing script
and the film is now available on DVD...
AMUSING AND WITH A DELIGHTFUL SENSE OF PERIOD, Oscar Wilde's
famous play, The Importance Of Being Earnest, was adapted for film in
1952 when it was nominated for a BAFTA and Golden Lion.
With a star-studded cast led by Michael Redgrave as the wealthy and eligible
Jack Worthing, who creates an imaginary brother Ernest in order to have a good
time in London without sullying his good name, and Michael Denison as his friend
Algernon Moncrieff, who decides to adopt the persona of Jack's brother for his
This classic comedy begins in Jack's rooms at The Albany Hotel in London where,
using the name Ernest, he has become friends with Algernon Moncrieff', whose
cousin Gwendolen Fairfax (Joan Greenwood) he hopes to marry.
But he has not reckoned on her formidable mother, Lady Bracknell (Dame Edith
Evans), who is also Algernon's Aunt Agatha and has very set ideas on how society
marriages should be arranged. And she is perplexed by Jack's story that he was
adopted by the late Mr Thomas Cardew after he was found as a baby in the cloakroom
at Victoria Station, snuggled up in nothing less than… a handbag.
On hearing that Jack has lost both his parents, Lady Bracknell remarks: "To
lose one parent is a misfortune, to lose both parents looks like carelessness"
and she tells him that before the season is over he should find some relations
and at least one parent.
Having discovered that Jack has a ward, eighteen-year-old Cecily Cardew (Dorothy
Tutin), Thomas's granddaughter, Algernon inveigles his way into Jack's country
house in Hertfordshire by posing as the mysterious brother Ernest and in the
process causes untold confusion and angst to both Gwendolen and Cecily as each
believes herself engaged to the non-existent Ernest, whose name they both feel
"inspires absolute confidence". Cicely says it has always been a girlish dream
of hers to marry somebody with the name Ernest. The dialogue between the two
women is a gem not to be missed: a magnificent war of words.
Cecily's governess Miss Leticia Prism (the ever-wonderful Margaret Rutherford)
holds the key to the mystery of the missing baby and her secret passion for
the Reverend Dr Chasuble (Miles Malleson) is a further cause for mirth, along
with Jack's plot to bring about the demise of his make-believe brother.
The Importance Of Being Earnest is an intriguing, witty and well-written
comedy of manners that is equally at home on film. With highly-rated acting
and superb dialogue, this 1950's version is still one of the highlights of cinema
history. The film also features: Richard Wattis as Seton; Walto Hudd as Lane;
and Edith Evans as Aubrey Mather as Merriman. The Importance Of Being Earnest
is Directed by Anthony Asquith; Produced by Teddy Baird; Director of Photography
is Desmond Dickinson; Art director is Carmen Dillon; Music is Composed and Conducted
by Benjamin Frankel.
Network Releasing is delighted to announce
the DVD release of The Importance Of Being Earnest, the classic film
based on Oscar Wilde's play, which is available from all good retailers on 15
June (2009) at a RRP of £12.99. Total Running Time: 91 Minutes (Approximately)
| Screen Ratio: 1.33:1 Black & White | Certificate: U.
Profile of The Importance Of Being Earnest | Original Press Book PDF | Photo
Gallery | Original Gala Premiere Programme.
"The Importance Of Being Earnest is an intriguing, witty and well-written
comedy of manners that is equally at home on film" Maggie Woods, MotorBar