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An Ideal Husband (1999)

An Ideal Husband


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 65
Fresh: 55
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: Brevity is the soul of wit, eh? This adaptation gets to the nitty gritty of Wilde's stage piece and plays on eternal human foibles.

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 15
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: Brevity is the soul of wit, eh? This adaptation gets to the nitty gritty of Wilde's stage piece and plays on eternal human foibles.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 10,779


Movie Info

In a moment of youthful indiscretion, Sir Robert Chiltern provided an Austrian baron with secret Foreign Office information. As payment he received the money that became the basis of his fortune and of his splendid, otherwise unimpeachable government career. Years later, he is blackmailed by a mysterious woman who also happens to be an acquaintance of his wife. Seeking the advice of his best friend, Sir Chiltern is told to confess everything to his wife and seek her support, but he refuses to … More

PG-13 (for brief sensuality/nudity)
Directed By:
Written By:
Oliver Parker
In Theaters:
Jan 18, 2000
Miramax Films


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Critic Reviews for An Ideal Husband

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (10) | DVD (8)

The bright, crisp design, Wilde's arch eloquence and a classy company help to camouflage the shortcomings.

Full Review… | March 2, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

An enjoyable, minor, lustrously shot revamping of Oscar Wilde's play about the perpetually interlocked manners of love and deception.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Smooth-flowing direction, a shrewdly pruned script and a top-flight ensemble cast that visibly relishes both the dialogue and one another's perfs make this a tony item for upscale, mature audiences.

Full Review… | June 19, 2008
Top Critic

Parker has made a sensible cinematic translation of Wilde's play, intercutting scenes which would have been played consecutively on the stage.

Full Review… | July 21, 2005
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

[I]t's likely that Mr. Wilde, who once wrote, 'A poet can survive anything but a misprint,' would have been less than thrilled with the result.

Full Review… | March 19, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Wilde was always about lots more than witty repartee, and as sparkling as his play is as drawing-room comedy, it reveals his concern with the timeless values of unselfish love and forgiveness.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Parker's shuttlecock technique only succeeds in throwing Wilde's cascading rhythms seriously out of whack and makes it hard to attend to the language as fully as one would like.

Full Review… | June 18, 2012
Sight and Sound

Quality comedy with a sprinkling of romance, skilfully assembled by a director with a clear feel for the material. Performances are universally great and the dialogue, of course, is superb.

Full Review… | July 20, 2010

It's lavish, clever entertainment, a welcome opportunity to laugh without shame.

Full Review… | July 20, 2010
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's a pleasant diversion but sadly, little more than a chance to hear Rupert's barbed wit.

Full Review… | December 15, 2009

The exquisite teamwork and byplay make the film such a delight to watch.

Full Review… | November 18, 2009

All the other performances -- from Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver, Julianne Moore, John Wood and Peter Vaughan -- are first rate.

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

Certain stretches truly sparkle, but the movie is not as inventive as The Winslow Boy, nor as relaxed and goofy as Midsummer[night's Dream].

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

Rupert Everett goes buck wild (okay, Oscar Wilde) in this Victorian comedy of manners and romance.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

An ideal alternative to the onslaught of Hollywood summer films.

Full Review… | April 9, 2005
Reeling Reviews

It is sad that this kind of dialogue is seen so infrequently in modern films; Wilde had a way with words unparalleled in this century.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

Alas, something went wrong between stage and screen...

Full Review… | October 15, 2002
Cincinnati Enquirer

A movie whose few imperfections never detract from its elegant characters and intriguing plot.

Full Review… | August 2, 2002
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

While it would have been easy to simply rely on the strength of Wilde's writing to carry the project, Parker and his cast never give any less than their very best...

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Say what you will about Miramax's alleged underhanded business practices and big-bucks campaigns to buy itself Academy Awards, the studio definitely knows how to package a satisfying movie adaptation of a classic of English Literature.

Full Review… | April 3, 2002
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

All this less-than-ideal Husband proves is there are few folks who have the sense to leave classic text alone.

Full Review… | March 7, 2002
Matinee Magazine

Audience Reviews for An Ideal Husband

Comedy about a 19th C. MP whose marriage comes under threat by blackmail

Ross Collins

Super Reviewer


Great cast. Good plot.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

everyone is good but Rupert Everett is brilliant!

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Witty, charming and fun. See it once and you never really need to see it again.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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