An Ideal Husband (Korda, 1947) DVD
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Directed by Alexander Korda
Produced in 1947
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
Ironically this very British adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband was the work of two Hungarians - Alexander Korda (director) and Lajos Biró (writer). In this hugely underrated film, the two men effortlessly capture Wilde’s wit and social satire, in which the fiendish Lady Cheveley (Paulette Goddard) blackmails an upright member of the House of Commons (Hugh Williams), who fears the condemnation of his saintly wife (Diana Wynyard). But can his best friend (Michael Wilding) save the day?
Wilding is on fine form as the waggish dandy (“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”), and Glynis Johns is wonderful as the object of his affection - their banter and rapport make them a splendidly unlikely couple. Yet it’s Goddard who steals the show with a cool masterclass in sophisticated cattiness; you root for her to triumph over her simpering, pious victims (surely Wilde’s intention) even as her machinations become increasingly immoral. Other highlights include the lavish costumes courtesy of Cecil Beaton and a lovely pay-off that proves you can’t keep a good villainess down.
Alex Davidson on 29th May 2009
Author of 237 reviews
1890s high society provides the setting for Oscar Wilde’s sparkling comedy of morals and manners, in which an 'ideal' husband (Hugh Williams) must fight to save both his marriage and reputation when a blackmailing adventuress (Paulette Goddard) threatens him with a political scandal. Cecil Beaton designed the costumes for Alexander Korda's wonderfully stylish and entertaining screen version of Wilde's play.
Length: 93 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 15th June 2009
Cat No: 7953068
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