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The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest


by Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest Resources

Movie or TV Productions

The Importance of Being Earnest, 2002

The latest and most modernized version of the play. It features Jack (Colin Firth) and Algernon (Rupert Everett) singing duets to serenade the girls; shows Gwendolen (Frances O’ Connor) get tattoos of Ernest in special places; and reveals Cecily’s (Reese Witherspoon) daydreams of her knight in shining armor, Sir Ernest. Dame Judi Dench plays Lady Bracknell.

Wilde, 1997

A film about Oscar Wilde’s life, featuring snippets from a production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

The Importance of Being Earnest, 1992

A production of the play featuring an all-black cast.

The Importance of Being Earnest, 1992

An Australian production of the play, recorded in front of a live audience.

The Importance of Being Earnest, 1952

One of the most definitive early versions of the play, starring Dame Edith Evans in the most famous rendering of Lady Bracknell.


LibriVox: The Importance of Being Earnest

A free mp3 recording of the play, performed by volunteers all over the world.

The Importance of Being Earnest Soundtrack

The soundtrack to the 2002 movie, featuring original songs written for and sung by the characters of Jack and Algernon.


Movie Poster

Poster for the 2002 movie, starring Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Rupert Everett, Frances O'Connor, and Judi Dench.

Movie Cover

The Criterion Collection cover of the 1952 movie.

Dame Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell

A black-and-white photo of the most famous actress in Earnest's history as Lady Bracknell.


Earnest Manuscript

One page of Oscar Wilde’s original manuscript for Earnest.

Interview with Oscar Wilde

A rare (fake) interview with Mr. Wilde.

Rare Book Found in Charity Shop

A first-edition manuscript of Earnest was donated anonymously to charity shop in October 2007, found—appropriately—in a handbag.

"Displaying All Wilde’s Many Sides"

An article about the centenary commemoration of Wilde’s death, which features some information on original Earnest manuscripts.

"He Resisted Everything But Temptation"

An article about letters discovered in 1985 from Oscar Wilde.

Frivolity's Finest Hour

Three gushing reviews about a 1977 Independence Day debut of the play.


The Importance of Being Earnest: The Rude Mechanicals

A blurb on a modern remake of Earnest. No longer in London and the English countryside, the play is reset in Hollywood and Santa Barbara. All the characters are now movie stars and August Bracknell (that’s right, a man) is their director.

Colin Firth in The Importance of Being Earnest

A fan site with lots of pictures, articles, and an interview with British actor Colin Firth, who plays Jack Worthing in the 2002 movie. Get ready for lots of Wilde puns.

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