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The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

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In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.

Director:

Oliver Parker

Writers:

Oscar Wilde (play), Oliver Parker (screenplay)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Everett ... Algy
Colin Firth ... Jack
Frances O'Connor ... Gwendolen
Reese Witherspoon ... Cecily
Judi Dench ... Lady Bracknell
Tom Wilkinson ... Dr. Chasuble
Anna Massey ... Miss Prism
Edward Fox ... Lane
Patrick Godfrey ... Merriman
Charles Kay ... Gribsby
Cyril Shaps ... Pew Opener
Marsha Fitzalan ... Dowager
Finty Williams ... Young Lady Bracknell
Guy Bensley Guy Bensley ... Young Lord Bracknell
Christina Robert Christina Robert ... Duchess of Devonshire
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Storyline

Two young gentlemen living in 1890's England use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") on the sly, which is fine until they both fall in love with women using that name, which leads to a comedy of mistaken identities... Written by arson83

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everybody Loves Ernest... But Nobody's Quite Sure Who He Really Is.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

21 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ernst sein ist alles See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$500,447, 27 May 2002

Gross USA:

$8,384,929

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,009,625
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Reese Witherspoon was learning her English accent for this movie, her husband, Ryan Phillippe was learning a Scottish accent for his role in Gosford Park (2001). The person who picked it up fastest? Their daughter Ava. See more »

Goofs

During the song "Lady Come Down" Jack leans against a pillar at the foot of the stairs with one leg crossed in front of the other. The leg that is in front changes from left to right, and back to left again as the camera angle changes. See more »

Quotes

Algy: I really don't see what is so romantic about proposing. One may be accepted - one usually is, I believe - and then the excitement is ended. The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits the main characters attend the funeral of the late departed Bunbury. Rupert Everett and Colin Firth argue while singing "Lady Come Down". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dorian Gray (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Lady Come Down
Music written by Charlie Mole
Lyrics by Oscar Wilde
Performed by Colin Firth and Rupert Everett
Courtesy of Fragile Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

A treat indeed!
6 July 2002 | by windspraySee all my reviews

It is a rare treat when you go to the movies expecting not very much but walking away with so much more! After reading the reviews here as well as some professional reviews, I almost decided to pass this one by and what a pity it would have been. Sounds like my unfamiliarity with Wilde's play and the previous version of this movie was to my advantage. After all I could view this movie based on its own merits without any other comparisons getting in the way. What a glorious summer treat and a wonderfully fun vehicle to discover Oscar Wilde's hilarious play and for that matter Wilde in general. Couldn't have asked for a better audience to watch this with here in the South. They were enthusiastic, obviously familiar with Wilde, remained for the credits, and clapped at the end. Can't remember the last time that happened,can you? Again, what a lovely surprise this movie was with absolutely marvelous chemistry between Mr. Firth and Mr. Everett, a sweet supporting cast, not to mention the beautiful production values. After seeing the movie, I almost immediately hunted for the text of the play and read it straight through.


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