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An Ideal Husband (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 30 June 1999 (USA)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
London 1895: Cabinet minister, Sir Chiltern, and bachelor, Lord Goring, are victims of scheming women.

Director:

Oliver Parker

Writers:

Oscar Wilde (play), Oliver Parker (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Vaughan ... Phipps
Rupert Everett ... Lord Goring
Minnie Driver ... Mabel
Cate Blanchett ... Gertrude
Ben Pullen ... Tommy Trafford
Marsha Fitzalan ... Countess
Julianne Moore ... Mrs Cheveley
Lindsay Duncan ... Lady Markby
Neville Phillips ... Mason
John Wood ... Lord Caversham
Jeremy Northam ... Sir Robert
Nickolas Grace ... Vicounte de Nanjac
Simon Russell Beale ... Sir Edward
Anna Patrick ... Miss Danvers
Delia Lindsay ... Lady Basildon
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Storyline

Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed. Sir Robert turns for help to his friend Lord Goring, an apparently idle philanderer and the despair of his father. Goring knows the lady of old, and, for him, takes the whole thing pretty seriously. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He just doesn't know it yet.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 June 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An Ideal Husband See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$192,802, 20 June 1999

Gross USA:

$18,542,974

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,542,974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Mrs. Chevely discover's Gertrude's letter, it is laying atop a yellow book with an Aubrey Beardsley illustration on the cover. This is apparently a copy of The Yellow Book, which was a Victorian magazine of sorts. When Oscar Wilde was arrested on charges of sodomy in 1895, he was carrying what appeared to be The Yellow Book, and because of this association, the publication was ruined. See more »

Goofs

In the establishing shot for the scenes in the House of Commons, the Palace of Westminster is shown from Westminster bridge but the Ayrton light is not lit. Since 1885 when either house is sitting after nightfall a green light should be visible above the clock face. See more »

Quotes

Laura: Then I take it you reject my proposal?
Lord Arthur Goring: I'm afraid I must. For you see, as tempting as it may be, in truth it's little more than blackmail.
Laura: True.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits list Oliver Parker, the director, as playing "Bunbury", one of the gentlemen that is seen playing cards with Lord Goring in the Men's Club when Lord Chiltern arrives. Bunbury is also a never-seen character in "The Importance of Being Earnest", the play which is performed in the background of several scenes of this film. See more »

Connections

Version of BBC Play of the Month: An Ideal Husband (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Wit, depth and beauty - Will Wilde follow Shakespeare to Hollywood?
18 June 1999 | by jimchevaSee all my reviews

As I left this movie, someone said "How nice to see an intelligent movie!"

The risk going in was that it would be ONLY an intelligent - or at least clever - piece, all period manners and costumes. In fact, with all the Oscar Wilde wit which sounds wonderfully fresh here, there are also rich moments of emotional depth throughout this amusing but also quite moving film.

One theme here - touching in hindsight - is how little it can take to destroy a reputation - Wilde was later to have some of the most painful possible firsthand experience of this. But the central question here, which anchors the humor and beauty that decorate it, is the cost of rigorous, even rigid, honesty. And the growth of the central characters on this point shines through, even through the dance of wit and farce.

Underpinning this is a surprising faith in human nobility, quite in contrast to the ironic persona Wilde maintained. It struck me while watching it both that Wilde had very French characteristics - a continental finesse, the love of repartee - and yet was profoundly an English writer by virtue of his faith in fair play and the bonds of (platonic) male friendship.

In fact, Lord Goring, whose world-weary ways make him something of a surrogate for Wilde, is a distant cousin to Sidney Carton in coming to the defense of a 'nobler' friend even at great (possible) sacrifice to himself. His very lack of seriousness is what makes his efforts on behalf of his friends so moving.

With this, the pure visual beauty of actors like Cate Blanchett and Rupert Everett, matched by sumptuous costumes and sets, adds a sensuous element which, in a lesser film, might have dominated the movie. They, with Minnie Driver in cheeky comic form and Julianne Moore sweetly evil and superbly English, make it a delight both to watch and to savor later as tart food for thought.


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