A made-for-TV production of one of Oscar Wilde's peerless stage comedies, this frothy satire concerns Lord Arthur Goring and his close friend Sir Robert Chiltern. Arthur is a wealthy but unambitious man who is proudly lazy and uses his not inconsiderable knowledge and wit for no profitable purpose, other than verbally sparring with Mabel Chiltern, Sir Robert's sister and a woman of no small beauty and charm. Mabel is hardly the only woman interested in Arthur, but despite the pleas of his father, Arthur has little interest in settling down with one woman. In striking contrast, Robert is a member of Parliament who is well-known for his firmly held principles and his devotion to his loving wife, Lady Gertrude. When a proposal is placed before Parliament to build a British canal through Argentina, Robert makes it clear he regards the project as a huge mistake and will speak out against it. However, one Laura Cheveley soon arrives on the scene, telling Robert it is in his best interest to support the canal plan -- and if he does not, Laura has incriminating information that could ruin his career in politics. An Ideal Husband stars Keith Michell, Jeremy Brett, Susan Hampshire, and Margaret Leighton. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Disc One: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (1988). The superb cast includes Joan Plowright as Lady Bracknell, Paul McGann as John Worthing and Amanda Redman as Gwendolyn. Wilde's most celebrated play still appears fresh and relevant today, especially when it's presented with the verve of this production. Directed by Stuart Burges, it's faithful to Wilde's text and features stand-out performances.
THE LIFE AND LOVES OF OSCAR WILDE (1995). A Timewatch documentary which presents an authoritative portrait of Oscar Wilde and his remarkable family. It features interviews with the writer's grandson, Merlin Holland and Lady Alice Douglas, great grand-niece to his lover. Martin Shaw is the voice of Wilde in this remarkable programme which contextualises the plays and provides the truth about Oscar Wilde.