The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

Anthony Asquith (1952)

U Certificate


Our Score
Shot in sumptuous Technicolor, this respectful adaptation of Oscar Wilde's sparkling comedy of errors thankfully rarely breaks free of its theatrical origins. The steady direction of Anthony Asquith keeps Wilde's polished barbs and bons mots firmly to the fore and the film is an invaluable record of an expert cast at work. Michael Redgrave and Michael Denison are clipped and composed as the gentlemen of leisure, whose innocent deceptions imperil their romantic aspirations towards the coquettish Joan Greenwood and Dorothy Tutin. Upstaging them all is Dame Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell, whose quavering delivery of "A handbag" is one of British cinema's great moments.


Two friends lead double lives, adopting an alternative identity when it suits their purposes, but both tricksters come to realise their duplicity is about to jeopardise their romantic endeavours. Comedy, based on Oscar Wilde's stage play, starring Michael Redgrave, Michael Denison, Edith Evans, Margaret Rutherford, Dorothy Tutin and Joan Greenwood.

Cast & Crew

Jack Worthing Michael Redgrave
Algernon Moncrieff Michael Denison
Lady Bracknell Edith Evans
Cecily Cardew Dorothy Tutin
Gwendolen Fairfax Joan Greenwood
Miss Prism Margaret Rutherford
Rev Doctor Chasuble Miles Malleson
Seton Richard Wattis
Lane Walter Hudd
Merriman Aubrey Mather
Director Anthony Asquith
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: General Film Dist LtdAvailable on: video and DVD
Comedy Drama