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An Ideal Husband

4.3 out of 5 stars 208 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Sexy leading man Rupert Everett heads an acclaimed all-star cast in this wonderfully witty story of decadence, romance, and scandal! Sir Robert is a highly respected politician whose spotless reputation is the pride of his beautiful wife (Cate Blanchett ) and adoring sister (Minnie Driver). But when an old acquaintance (Julianne Moore) threatens to reveal a dark secret from Robert's past, only his womanizing party-loving best friend Goring (Everett) is scheming and dishonest enough to come to his aid.

Special Features

  • Production Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Peter Vaughan, Minnie Driver, Cate Blanchett
  • Directors: Oliver Parker
  • Writers: Oliver Parker, Oscar Wilde
  • Producers: Andrea Calderwood, Barnaby Thompson, Bruce Davey, Nicky Kentish Barnes, Paul Tucker
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305692696
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,818 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "An Ideal Husband" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
One may wish to watch this movie many times, for there are witticisms galore, so much so that one can hardly keep up with them. While laughing at one, another takes place, and so on. The dialogue is glittering.
This is the greatest production of an Oscar Wilde play I have ever seen, and leaves me on pins and needles waiting for the release later this year of The Importance of Being Earnest because it also stars an actor who seems born to perform in Wilde's plays/movies: Rupert Everett.
The performances: wonderful all. Rupert Everett's work nears the genius level. Jeremy Northam as a not-so-perfect parliamentarian is great. John Wood as his father stands out. And there are the ever-so-essential ladies: Cate Blanchett as Northam's wife (would you believe she is Australian?), who believes she has a perfect husband. Julianne Moore as one of the most charmingly wicked women ever to grace the screen (would you believe she is from North Carolina?), and the very strong presence of Minnie Driver (yes, she actually is from England). All together, they create an effervescent champagne of a film.
The perfect find out they are not so perfect. The expecters of perfection find out they themselves are also not so perfect. Love finally lowers its standards to include the imperfection of the beloved. Even the loser at evildoing turns out to have an unexpected side to her. This is the film's theme. The actors and the director of this film, however, ironically bring this film close to, if not at, the peak of perfection.
The final scene is an ode to joy. Watch it and have fun!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Have you ever looked at a person who seems to be perfect in every way, and thought to yourself, "No one is perfect. They must have done something wrong, sometime."

And the dark secrets of a seemingly perfect man are at the heart of "An Ideal Husband," a powerful and witty adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic play. It's not entirely faithful to the play, but it rests on Wilde's brilliant writing and a quartet of formidable actors (although Minnie Driver's character seems... almost unnecessary).

Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) seems to have it all -- a flourishing career in Parliament, his beautiful and perfect wife Lady Gertrude (Cate Blanchett), and the universal respect given to a man with a perfect reputation. He has a vivacious sister (Minnie Driver) and is pals with a charming, womanizing, ironic and very bored playboy, Lord Goring (Rupert Everett).

But when a certain Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore) arrives from Vienna, things take a sudden turn for the worst. She has Robert's dirty little secret, a financial scam from years ago. She'll give him the proof of his misdeed, but only if he sacrifices his principles and supports the Suez Canal motion. Otherwise, she'll make the letter public and wreck his marriage and his career. It's up to Lord Goring to get his pal out of trouble...

"An Ideal Husband" is an enjoyable and witty play, with a plot that twists right up to the final scenes and a genuinely romantic subplot -- the only downside is the exclusion of one subplot from the original play The study of morality, payback for one's sins, the power of words and the need for forgiveness is much more interesting than the typical period-dress drama.
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Format: DVD
If you're as tired as I am with the Action/Special effects explosion in Hollywood, An Ideal Husband will prove to boost your low opinion of the film industry. Beautifully cast, written, and directed, it's no wonder why it's been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. The first of course, going to the actor, Rupert Everett. He delivers his lines with such an aire and grace of an English gentleman and takes such care to wrap each word in a delightful sarcastic tone-- which fits his character perfectly. Although he is, in some ways, considered a nasty man of arrogance, Everett's charm shines through and draws the viewer into his oh so romantic embrace. The rest of the cast is equally entertaining--mostly because they mesh so well together. The period costumes and cinematography are also important to note. The movement from scene to scene, the juxtaposition of the placement of the characters in the scenes are particularly amusing to watch. Enough is enough already. If you don't mind watching "period" films, this is a breath of fresh air to the genre.
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Format: DVD
This movie would've been perfect if the filmmaker hadn't left out the very important and hugely delicious "bracelet scene" from Wilde's original play. If you've read the play, you'll know which scene I mean. The point and beauty of Wilde's play is that the blackmailer (Mrs Cheveley, who thinks she's too clever for everyone) gets blackmailed in return (in the scene where the bracelet plays a major part). The tagline of Wilde's play (in the backcover of the Penguin Books edition I own) reads: "In order to be a successful blackmailer, one's own reputation must be beyond reproach". In Wilde's play, the "bracelet scene" involves the cool Lord Goring and the scheming Mrs Cheveley. Why, why was the scene omitted from the movie?! Did the filmmaker find it difficult to produce the special-clasp bracelet? As a result, the movie fails to capture the most important point of the play and becomes only an average fare with a plot that fizzles out in the end. Instead of an embarrassed and defeated Mrs Cheveley who unexpectedly gets a taste of her own medicine (as in Wilde's play), the movie gives us a rather smug, victorious (and heaven forbid, almost "virtuous") Mrs Cheveley in the end. This is totally different from what Wilde intended in his play and I find the omission of the "bracelet scene" to be a bad and unforgivable mistake on the filmmaker's part. Ugh! Hugely dissapointing!
Watch the movie if you must, for its fine cast, beautiful costumes and witty lines (many taken verbatim from the play, of course). Just don't expect to experience the 'true spirit' of Wilde's play. The omission of the "bracelet scene" certainly took away all my enjoyment of this adaptation.
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