An Ideal Husband (1999)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic 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.

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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 tarnish the ideal image he believes his wife has of him and their marriage. His refusal to tell his wife has severe consequences as she becomes as much of threat to his position as the blackmailer.
Rating:
PG-13 (for brief sensuality/nudity)
Genre:
Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Miramax Films

Cast

Rupert Everett
as Arthur Goring
Julianne Moore
as Mrs. Cheveley
Jeremy Northam
as Sir Robert Chiltern
Cate Blanchett
as Gertrude
John Wood
as Lord Caversham
Peter Vaughan
as Phipps
Ben Pullen
as Tommy Trafford
Marsha Fitzalan
as Countess
Lindsay Duncan
as Lady Markby
Nickolas Grace
as Vicounte de Nanjac
Simon Russell Beale
as Sir Edward
Anna Patrick
as Miss Danvers
Delia Lindsay
as Lady Basildon
Denis Stephenson
as Gwendolen
Nancy Carroll
as Cecily
Andy Harrison
as Algernon
Jill Balcon
as Lady Bracknell
Janet Henfrey
as Miss Prism
Toby Robertson
as Canon Chasuble
Michael Culkin
as Oscar Wilde
Oliver Parker
as Bunbury
Doug Bradley
as Brackpool
Stephen May
as Burlington
Jeroen Krabbé
as Baron Arnheim
Susannah Wise
as Young Mother
Peter Parker
as M.P. No 1
Oliver Ford Davies
as Sir Hugo Danforth
Neil Mendoza
as M.P. No 2
John Thompson
as The Speaker
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Critic Reviews for An Ideal Husband

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (16)

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

Full Review… | March 1, 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 18, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

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

July 20, 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

No excerpt available.

May 10, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for An Ideal Husband

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

Ross Collins
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

½

Great cast. Good plot.

Candy Rose
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

everyone is good but Rupert Everett is brilliant!

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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