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The Importance of Being Earnest Details


A superb cast brings Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners to life in the third big-screen adaptation of this hilarious look at fun, games, and dubious ethics among the British upper crust. Algernon Moncrieff (Rupert Everett) is a slightly shady, but charming gentlemen from a wealthy family who has a bad habit of throwing his money away. Algernon has a close friend named Jack Worthing (Colin Firth), a self-made man who acts as a ward to his cousin, a beautiful young lady named Cecily (Reese Witherspoon). Algernon has created an alter ego to help him get out of tight spots brought on by his financial improprieties, and when he learns that Jack has created a false identity of his own -- Earnest, a brother living in London whose exploits have earned him no small amount of notoriety -- Algernon arrives for a weekend visit in the country posing as the mysterious Earnest. Having heard of Earnest's misadventures many times over the years, Cecily had developed something of an infatuation with the lovable rogue, and Algernon's impersonation of him works no small degree of magic on Cecily. Meanwhile, Algernon's cousin, Gwendolyn (Frances O'Connor), arrives for the weekend, and is startled to discover Jack is also there -- except that she knows him as bad-boy Earnest. So just who is in love with who? How will Lady Bracknell (Judi Dench) handle the matter of her daughter Gwendolyn's suitors? And what's the truth about Jack's mysterious heritage? The Importance of Being Earnest was director Oliver Parker's second film adaptation of an Oscar Wilde comedy; he previously helmed Oliver Parker, which also starred Rupert Everett. Everett and Colin Firth also co-starred in the 1984 drama Everett. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:May 17, 2002


Rupert Everett
as Algernon Moncrieff
Colin Firth
as Jack Worthing/Earnest
Frances O'Connor
as Gwendolyn Fairfax
Reese Witherspoon
as Cecily Cardew
Judi Dench
as Lady Bracknell
Tom Wilkinson
as Dr. Chasuble
Anna Massey
as Miss Prism
Edward Fox
as Lane
Charles Kay
as Gribsby
Kiera Chaplin


Oliver Parker
Barnaby Thompson
Oscar Wilde
Play Author
Oliver Parker
Tony Pierce-Roberts
Charlie Mole
Composer (Music Score)
Guy Bensley
Luciana Arrighi
Production Designer
Paul Ghiradani
Art Director
David Brown
Ian Whittaker
Set Designer
Maurizio Millenotti
Costume Designer
John Midgley
Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Hewitt
First Assistant Director
Celestia Fox
Max Hoskins
Supervising Sound Editor
David Brown
Additional Cinematography