The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)
Pssst, want to check out The Importance of Being Earnest in our new look?
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It's practically impossible to screw up Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and the 1952 classic (cue Handbag Meme) is still as fun as it ever was, even 70 years on. Michael Redgrave may overplay a comic moment here and there, but there's never been a Lady Bracknell as iconic as Edith Evans. Her deliveries are the ones I hear in my head when I think of Lady Bracknell, and indeed, any character like her. No doubt because it's been so often imitated as a "type" of Victorian battleaxe. MIchael Denison has a lot of fun as Algernon, as he should, and well, everyone is quite delightful indeed. It's Wilde's masterpiece, after all, and every line is a cracker. There are those you've memorized, and then there are those that you only recognize, but that still surprise you and make you laugh all over again. I laughed often. The extra layer of artifice at the beginning, with people sitting down to watch the play was an interesting idea, but I don't think it pays off (perhaps they could have returned at the end and dropped - perhaps dismissively - one of Wilde's recorded dictums, I don't know), but it doesn't take up a lot of real estate, so it's fine. With Wilde, there's really no reason to get off the page.
Much better than the 2002 version.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!