My Old Addiction

Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou

The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952)

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(out of 5)


This is the very best-ever adaptation of an Oscar Wilde play, mostly because of how little director Anthony Asquith interferes with the source material. The hilarious story, possibly the wittiest comedy ever written, features  as a country gentleman who has invented a brother named Ernest as an excuse to spend time in London away from his young ward Cecily and her nurse Miss Avery. In London, he pretends to be his brother, and has fallen in love with the beautiful Gwendolyn, but her mother Lady Bracknell (the unforgettable ) won’t allow them to marry because of “Ernest’s” humble origins. When best friend Algernon shows up in the country to woo young Cecily and tells them all that he is brother Ernest himself, all sorts of delightful complications are created, all of which are unraveled in one fell swoop in the film’s brilliant finale. Directed with energy and faithful dedication to Wilde’s unstoppable wit, this wonderful comedy is thrillingly funny and wonderfully acted.


Javelin Films, British Film-Makers

United Kingdom, 1952

Directed by

Screenplay by Anthony Asquith, based on the play by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by Anthony Asquith,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


The Criterion Collection


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2 comments on “The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952)

  1. herewardpooley
    May 25, 2013

    Could you review the one with Rees Witherspoon, (her accent was good)? Tom Wilkinson and Anna Massey were, I thought, perfect.

    • henryjames77
      May 25, 2013

      It’s on the old site (link below), it’ll be added soon. Thanks again for visiting !

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