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The Importance of Being Earnest (Criterion Collection) (1952)

Cast: Michael Redgrave, Michael Redgrave, Edith Evans, more...
Director: Anthony Asquith, Anthony Asquith
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, British Comedy, UK, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 95 min.
Languages: English
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Synopsis
Anthony Asquith's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's witty play of mistaken identities stars Michael Redgrave as rich bachelor Jack Worthing. Jack's friend is Algernon Moncrieft (Michael Denison), a poor bloke living on credit. Jack refers mysteriously to Algernon about his country retreat, which drives Algernon to distraction, trying to figure out where Jack goes on the weekends. Jack is also in love with Algernon's attractive cousin Gwendolen (Joan Greenwood). He also has a ward, Cecily Cardew (Dorothy Tutin), who lives at the country estate and studies with local spinster Miss Prism (Margaret Rutherford). When Algernon learns of Cecily, he arrives at the country home claiming to be Jack's brother Earnest, knowing Jack had previously regaled Cecily with tales of having to bail the fictitious Earnest out of scrapes so he could sneak out to the city. Having set her eyes on "Earnest" in the flesh after having heard countless tales of his intrigues, Cecily immediately falls in love with Earnest. Meanwhile, Jack comes back to the country dressed in black, determined to announce to the group the demise of the fictional Earnest. As a result, Jack is stupefied when he sees Earnest standing in front of him. Meanwhile, Algernon's aunt, Lady Bracknell (Edith Evans) refuses to grant permission for Jack and Gwendolen's engagement. However, when Lady Bracknell finds out that Algernon is in love with Cecily, she asks Jack for his blessing on their marriage. Of course, Jack won't give his blessing until Lady Bracknell gives her blessing to his proposed marriage to Gwendolen. All is at a standstill until Lady Bracknell recognizes Miss Prism as a governess from the past who holds secrets concerning both Jack and Algernon. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A comedy of manners? by MBreslau December 10, 2011 - 6:07 AM PST
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At first I thought I was watching 'Pride and Prejudice' set as a comedy.
This is not really fair. but it was my first impression. If you have a tolerance for British-accented upper-class duplicitous twits the you will enjoy this movie. If not, you may be missing a very cleverly constructed comedy.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.27)
45 Votes
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Oscar
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"If, with the literate, I am / Impelled to make an epigram, / I never seek to take the credit; / We all assume that Oscar said it." - Dorothy Parker
dwhudson
Criterion Collection
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Criterion invented the special edition laser disc and now produce some of the finest DVDs
SRhodes

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