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9
4.0 out of 5 stars
An Ideal Husband [DVD] [1947]
Format: DVDChange
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An adventuress (Paulette Goddard) of dubious ethics attempts to blackmail a prominent member (Hugh Williams) of the House of Commons into supporting a fraudulent scheme to build a canal in Argentina by revealing a youthful indiscretion of his that would taint his unblemished reputation. His wife (Diana Wynard) has very strict moral views on right and wrong and any unethical behavior on his part would cause a rift in their marriage. The Oscar Wilde play on honor and its shades of gray gets the lavish Technicolor treatment from director Alexander Korda (THAT HAMILTON WOMAN), costumes by Cecil Beaton (MY FAIR LADY), sets by Vincent Korda (THIEF OF BAGDAD) and music by Arthur Benjamin. It's not very cinematic and makes very few, if any, concessions to cinema but the lively acting prevents it from coming across as a musty museum piece and it stays faithful to Wilde's construct. There's a touch of the common in Goddard's blackmailing Mrs. Cheveley which contrasts nicely to the slightly stiff English aristocracy. With Glynis Johns, Michael Wilding, C. Aubrey Smith and Constance Collier.

The Network DVD via Great Britain is a rather average transfer. The colors are vivid but it could have used a bit of cleaning up.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
I wasn't sure what to expect with this DVD as I had just endured one of the worst transfers of a classic British film that same night with SIXTY GLORIOUS YEARS, but was blown away by just how crisp and vibrant the DVD for AN IDEAL HUSBAND looked. Wilde's witty and well paced classic tale is well adapted to film, and although it being essentially a one set period piece, it's rarely dull and most enjoyable. Great cast, exquisite art direction and rich camerawork - though I can hardly recall a film where so many 'heads' or 'hats' are sliced off through the matte lines in the numerous Percy Day matte painted shots of Victorian London.

I just wish all DVD releases of old films were as well 'mastered' and looked as marvellous as this, which aside from some minor colour fluctuation and a flurry of horizontal 'rain' on the print around the 52 minute mark, it's a real delight!

NZPete
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2011
The elegant witty stylish actling and the sumptuousness of the sets, costumes and locations have to be seen to be believed not forgetting the sheer perfection of the starry casting. Sadly, for commercial reason's Wilde's brilliant three hour comedy-drama had to be reduced to half that time, but what a brilliant half! Wilde as it really should be played!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2011
having seen most versions of this story,over the years,iwanted to see this one,being a fan of oscar wilde,and of all productions i like this one the best,because its an old version,the actors were just that ,actors,so the story of lies ,and those lies becoming known,just plays out to its happy ending,without what you know about the actors like minnie driver, intruding , so if you are a fan of oscars this is for you sueb
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2013
I saw this film when I was a little girl and thoroughly loved it. It was well written and had a very good cast. As all Oscar Wilde writings, the english language is very rich and easy to understand. If you have already seen the remake with Colin Firth, you will like this one better. I highly recommend this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2013
A lovely period piece. Very elegant, wonderful cast, the color is amazing. Worth watching if only for the set decoration and costumes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2014
I loved everything about it and would recommend it to all fans of the great Wilde. In face I went Wilde about it.
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on 26 August 2014
Wonderful movie--transfer doesn't exactly look like an old Technicolor print, though.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2014
I was unable to play this DVD of An Ideal Husband. When I checked with the vendor in Great Britain, I was told for the first time that the DVD that they shipped to me in the US would not play in the US, but only in on the continent and in GB. I would not recommend it to anyone in the US, and don't know what I might tell someone in Europe if I could view the DVD.
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