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  • The Importance Of Being Earnest [VHS] [2002]
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The Importance Of Being Earnest [VHS] [2002]

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Product details

  • Actors: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor, Reese Witherspoon, Judi Dench
  • Directors: Oliver Parker
  • Writers: Oliver Parker, Oscar Wilde
  • Producers: Barnaby Thompson, David Brown, Uri Fruchtmann
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: 21 July 2003
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063W2K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,014 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy masterpiece set during the Victorian era. The film concerns a pair of flamboyant bachelors called Algy (Rupert Everett) and Jack (Colin Firth) who secretly lead double lives. Using aliases and false alibis, the pair woo respectable ladies by day and cavort in music halls at night. Through countless blunders and haphazard tomfoolery, it is only a matter of time before they are caught out by their own lies. Sparkling dialogue, razor-sharp wit and electric performances make The Importance of Being Earnest unforgettably funny, whilst the grandiose sets and fabulous period costumes add romance and charm. Reese Witherspoon is radiant as Cecily, an alluring English rose, and Judi Dench puts in a fantastic performance as Lady Bracknell.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Reader on 9 Jan. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wilde's fantastic play could have not asked for a better adaptation than this. The characters have a fantastic chemisty on screen and fit into their own personal roles wonderfully. Firth and Everett are the perfect orphan boy and playboy turned earnest. I don't image many will be unfamiliar with the plot but here's a quick summary:
Firth plays Jack, who lives in the country and heads to the city under the name of Earnst. Everett plays Algernon who lives in the town but heads out to the country under the name of earnst. Why? Well, Jack is in love with Lady bracknell's daughter who dreams of marrying a man named earnest. Algernon inteneds to marry Jack's ward, Cecily, by going to Jack's house (while Jack is in town) posing as Jack's fictitious brother Earnst. (Jack say's to his country folk he's off to town to visit his brother earnst) Cecily also wants to marry a man named earnst. Confused yet...I am!!
Annnyyyway, Jack comes back from town only to find Algernon flirting with Cecily and pretending to be jack's fake brother. Jack is astonished but doesn't blow his cover because Algie knows he's pretending his name is also earnst so he can marry Gwendoline Bracknell (algie's cousin). And so ensues a hilarious tale of thse two men attempting to explain who they really are and what they're up to to their adoring fiances.
As is expected of Wilde, this story is full of quirky one liners;
"Are your parents living?"
"My parents are both dead."
"To lose one parent in unfortunate. To lose two could be considered careless."
The cast are excellent so I honestly can't say who my favourite is. Jst know that this adaptation is first class and a bargain at the price being offered. Enjoy.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By KJ on 1 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD
I've already discovered that people don't vote on reviews because of their content but on whether or not they tally with their own views so I will expect to see 'not helpful' votes pile up but here goes anyway.

If you're looking for a mildly entertaining bit of froth with generally good actors you will probably enjoy this. What you will NOT see is Oscar Wilde's 'Ernest'. Nowhere that I can see does it say that this is heavily adapted from the play but it is, there are too many changes to the script to quote them all but, to site the worst aberation, the fact that Jack is referred to as Algenon's YOUNGER (not older as Willde wrote it) brother towards the end makes the whole premise of the plot nonsense. OK, Algie's played as a bit of an ibecile but surely he would have known he once had a brother around the house so why should it come as such a surprise?

If you want to see a somewhat dated but beautifully played version of the original get the old Redgrave/Dennison/Evans DVD. I bought this as a Judi Dench completist (sic) and funny as her performance undoubtedly is, Edith Evans simply IS Lady Bracknell.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 July 2012
Format: Blu-ray

As a long-time reviewer and fan of this new format - I am constantly yo-yoing between praise for BLU RAY reissues and damning them. Some films are massively enhanced by the format's capacity to show more - others are either made worse by it - or have suffered at the hands of a lazy and sloppy transfer. Well I'm pleased to say that "The Importance Of Being Earnest" is in the former - because the print on this 2012 BLU RAY reissue is TRULY GORGEOUS - shockingly so even.

Set in 1890's British upper-class society - "The Importance Of Being Earnest" was a lavish 2002 Ealing Studios/Miramax production - so the BLU RAY should shine when it comes to 'detail' - and that's indeed what you get. Dandy clothing, ladies refinery, interiors of men's clubs, alleyways in London, carriages to the country, Stately homes and their gardens, cucumber sandwiches and tea on the lawn, vicars and language tutors - it all looks beautiful.

Throw in Wilde's clever jabbing at society and a cast thoroughly enjoying themselves with witty material (especially Rupert Everett as the good-for-nothing Algernon Moncrieff and Judi Dench as the matriarchal Lady Augusta) - and you're on a reissue winner. Americans Reese Witherspoon and Frances O'Connor show a deftness of touch too, while Colin Firth is as effortlessly charming as ever. I also particularly like Tom Wilkinson and Anna Massey as the elderly couple whose courtship goes unexpressed but is so deeply touching. And Edward Fox as Lane - Algernon's old butler - constantly evading Algernon's need for praise (dialogue above) with wily replies...shutting Algernon up by mentioning vulgar things like 'wages'...
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Kozar on 2 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD
The brilliance of Wilde's play lies in the contrast between the prim, English manners of the characters, especially the female ones, and the absurd things those characters say. The more unsubtly haughty those characters are, the starker the contrast, and the funnier the result.

The people behind this production did not understand that. Rather than go over the top with Victorian stuffiness as they should have done, they went for a modern, sexy edginess that dulled the contrast and killed laughs. They tried, foolishly, to supplement Wilde's wit with their own.

The actors, moreover, delivered their lines with too little panache. They under-acted in a play that cries out for over-acting.
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