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The Importance of Being Earnest U rating

The evergreen wit and verbal dexterity of Oscar Wilde’s classic play is artfully captured in Anthony Asquith’s colourful adaptation.

Comedy 1952 96 mins

Director: Anthony Asquith


Anthony Asquith’s first colour film artfully captures Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of manners, the story of two eligible bachelors in Victorian England whose love lives become entangled when they both adopt 'Ernest' as a pseudonym.

Featuring delightful performances from Michael Redgrave and Edith Evans, an ensemble cast revel in the wit and dexterity of Wilde’s evergreen dialogue. Unusually, director Asquith revels in the play’s theatrical origins, framing the action with shots of an audience taking its seats and curtain falls at the end of each act. An interesting footnote is the fact that Asquith’s father Herbert was the politician who famously brought charges of immorality against Wilde, when the future Prime Minister was Home Secretary.