The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lady Mount-Temple
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Ada Leverson 'Sphinx'
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John Gray
Matthew Mills ...
Lionel Johnson
Jason Morell ...
Ernest Dowson
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Charles Gill
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C.O. Humphreys
Philip Locke ...
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Storyline

The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and responsibility with his obsessive love for Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed Bosie. After legal action instigated by Bosie's father, the enraged Marquise of Queensberry, Wilde refused to flee the country and was sentenced to two years at hard labor by the courts of an intolerant Victorian society. Written by Peter Samuelson <petersa1@tribeca.ios.com>

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The story of the first modern man See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Oscar Wilde  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$69,424 (USA) (1 May 1998)

Gross:

$2,157,701 (USA) (6 November 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Ioan Gruffudd. See more »

Goofs

When Oscar Wilde visits his wife's grave near Genoa, the headstone states "Wife of Oscar Wilde". It originally stated only "Constance Mary, daughter of Horace Lloyd, Q.C." and "Wife of Oscar Wilde" was not added until later. See more »

Quotes

Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas: There are two boys waiting out there, and if you're not coming I'll fuck them both myself! I'll take them to the Grand and fuck them in front of the whole fucking hotel and I'll send you the bill!
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Crazy Credits

The credits are in the style of the black-ink drawings of Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898), leading artist of the Aesthetic movement and colleague of Wilde for whom he illustrated the text of "Salome" in 1894. In the opening credits the pictures reflect the character being played or suggest the role in the production team. See more »


Soundtracks

Ah, Leave me not to Mine Alone
from "The Pirates of Penzance"
Words and Music by W.S. Gilbert (as Gilbert) & Arthur Sullivan (as Sullivan)
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User Reviews

sympathetic reassessment of Wilde
17 October 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film was one of the best to appear in the late 90s, and is a sensitive, involving, honest and moving biography of one of the greatest writers of the Victorian era, the infamous Oscar Wilde.

More realistic and better played than previous studies of the writer (Robert Morley and Peter Finch both played Wilde in the 1950s), this film benefits greatly from a cracking performance by Stephen Fry in the lead. Not even regarded as an actor, more of a comedian, prior to this, Fry (himself gay, and something of an intellectual) puts across all the nuances and contradictions of the subject perfectly.

This Wilde is torn between what is accepted love (his wife, and children), and the 'love that dare not speak its name' (primarily his destructive relationship with the needy, selfish and petulant Lord Alfred Douglas, played here by Jude Law in the role which brought him to world attention). We see his charm and conviction when creating his plays or amusing friends, we also see his weaker side and why he was the cause of his own eventual arrest and imprisonment, we see how prison changed him and - as he wrote himself in De Profundis - broke his spirit and his health.

Watch out for other, now big, names in the cast - Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Sheen, Orlando Bloom - alongside the established players such as Vanessa Redgrave (Oscar's mother, Sperenza), Jennifer Ehle (Lady Constance Wilde), Tom Wilkinson (Marquess of Queensbury, Bosie's father), Gemma Jones (Bosie's mother), and Judy Parfitt.

A fitting musical score, a smattering of Wilde's epigrams, and a large chunk of his children's story 'The Selfish Giant' (driving and commenting on the action at key points) leave this film close to perfection when detailing the story of the misunderstanding of another age, not too far back from our own.


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