An Ideal Husband (1947 film)

An Ideal Husband, also known as Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, is a 1947 film Technicolor adaptation of the play by Oscar Wilde. It was made by London Film Productions and distributed by British Lion Films (UK) and Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation (USA). It was produced and directed by Alexander Korda from a screenplay by Lajos Bíró from Wilde's play. The music score was by Arthur Benjamin, the cinematography by Georges Périnal, the editing by Oswald Hafenrichter and the costume design by Cecil Beaton.

An Ideal Husband
Original French film poster
Directed byAlexander Korda
Produced byAlexander Korda
Screenplay byLajos Bíró
Based onAn Ideal Husband
1895 play
by Oscar Wilde
StarringPaulette Goddard
Michael Wilding
Diana Wynyard
Music byArthur Benjamin
CinematographyGeorges Périnal
Edited byOswald Hafenrichter
Distributed byBritish Lion
Twentieth-Century Fox
Release date
13 November 1947 (1947-11-13)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£241,994 (UK)[2]

The film stars Paulette Goddard, Michael Wilding, Diana Wynyard, Hugh Williams, C. Aubrey Smith, Glynis Johns and Constance Collier.


A mysterious lady attempts to blackmail a respected politician into giving a speech in parliament that supports her interests.[3]



Filming was held up due to a strike from the crew. The union objected to Paulette Goddard's hairdresser being American, claiming an English person could do the job.[1]

Shooting took 66 days. Goddard's husband, Burgess Meredith, was making Mine Own Executioner for Korda at the same time. After filming, the two of them appeared on stage in Dublin in Winterset.[4]

Korda subsequently lent some of the costumes for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[5]


The film, along with two others from Korda, Mine Own Executioner and Anna Karenina, were picketed in some American cinemas by the Sons of Liberty organisation, causing it to be withdrawn from exhibition in some cases. This was due to US opposition to British policies.[6][7]

Box Office

The film was one of the most popular movies at the British box office in 1948.[8] However it performed disappointingly in other markets.[9][10]


  1. "REFUSE TO WORK WITH ALIEN". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 27 March 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  2. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p484
  3. ""AN IDEAL HUSBAND" technicolor film of Oscar Wilde's famous play". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 13 December 1947. p. 8. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  4. "KORDA BREAKS TECHNICOLOR RECORD". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 23 August 1947. p. 2 Supplement: Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  5. "Film Costumes Used For Royal Wedding". The Mirror. Perth: National Library of Australia. 26 June 1948. p. 14. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  6. "UK bitter at US picketing of films". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 21 August 1948. p. 4. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  7. ""JUNIOR ANGEL" AS FILM OLIVER TWIST". The Sunday Herald. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 30 January 1949. p. 5 Supplement: Magazine Section. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  8. "THE STARRY WAY". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 8 January 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  9. Lorraine LoBianco, "An Ideal Husband", Turner Classic Movies accessed 7 July 2012
  10. Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 258.
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