Compare 1952 and 2002 film
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Half a century ago, ''The Importance of Being Earnest'' was made into a classic, unabashedly stagy movie, directed by Anthony Asquith, with a cast led by Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell. It dispensed Wilde's aperçus with a brittle insouciance that is largely missing from this souped-up version. If this film, which opens in New York and Los Angeles today and in other cities Friday, has a blue-ribbon cast that more than matches its forerunner in name value, it misses its high-toned elegance.
Also a reviewer wrote,
"The most recent version of The Importance of Being Ernest changed the script! Whoever thought that they could write better than Wilde was sorely mistaken. This version, however, is superb! Not only is the full text in tact, but Sir Michael Redgrave, known for his serious Shakespeare stage performances, shows how farce is best done when done "seriously". I love this version."