The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

"Excellent"

The Importance of Being Earnest (1952) Review


When the dust settles on humanity and its efforts in cinema, the original 1952 version of The Importance of Being Earnest will surely stand as the most important and most beloved film production of Oscar Wilde's play. (Coincidentally, it finds itself issued on DVD along with a new film version.)

The story remains a theatrical classic: two men fall for two women, but for one reason or another both of the men resort to using the name "Ernest" in their affairs. An elaborate comedy of errors and clever romantic twists, it's Wilde's most absurd and most amusing play, a story that demands attention to its byzantine plot structure and rewards the viewer with an abundance of laughs.

The 1952 version is a faithful-to-the-letter rendition of the play, with full period dress and sets and an all-Brit cast well-schooled in the parlor room and country house manners of its day. While Michael Redgrave and Michael Denison are stellar as the lead faux-Ernests, it's the women who steal the show, with Joan Greenwood's Gwendolyn evoking an early version of Kathleen Turner, and the incomparable Edith Evans, as Lady Bracknell (who gets in the way of just about everything), stands as one of the most memorable supporting characters on film.

The little touches of Earnest -- like Redgrave's Ernest taking notes on the cuff of his sleeve -- push it over the top. But in the end, of course, the play is really the thing.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.