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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.