Director Robert Hamers fiendishly funny Kind Hearts and Coronets stands as one of Ealing Studios greatest triumphs, and one of the most wickedly black comedies ever made. Dennis Price is sublime as an embittered young commoner determined to avenge his mothers unjust disinheritance by ascending to the dukedom. Unfortunately, eight family membersall played by the incomparable Alec Guinnessmust be eliminated before he can do so.
Set in Victorian England, Robert Hamer's 1949 masterpiece Kind Hearts and Coronets remains the most gracefully mordant of the Ealing comedies. Dennis Price plays Louis D'Ascoyne, the would-be Duke of Chalfont whose mother was spurned by her noble family for marrying an Italian singer for love. Louis resolves to avenge his mother by murdering the relatives ahead of him in line for the dukedom, all of whom are played by Alec Guinness. Guinness's virtuoso performances have been justly celebrated, ranging from a youthful D'Ascoyne with a priggish wife to a brace of doomed uncles and one aunt. Miles Malleson is a splendid doggerel-spouting hangman, while Valerie Hobson and Joan Greenwood take advantage of unusually strong female roles. But the great joy of Kind Hearts and Coronets is the way in which its appallingly black subject matter (considered beyond the pale by many critics at the time) is conveyed in such elegantly ironic turns of phrase by Price's narrator/antihero. Serial murder has never been conducted with such exquisite manners and discreet charm. --David Stubbs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It is a great pity to take a famous film 'par excellence' and because too many viewings i.e. video store,etc. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Allison Burko
NOTE: This movie is coded region B so not all N/A Blue Ray players will play it.
This movie is one of the favorites in our household. Read more
Of course, this film is a classic. The writing and understated acting one doesn't find much anymore. Hard to beleive that Alec Guiness was so young. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2013 by Mr. Frederick B. L. Jones
Here is Alec Guinness, and Alec Guinness, and Alec Guinness, and...
Louis D'Ascoyne (Dennis Price) would be next in line except for one thing; his mother ran off with an... Read more
It`s useless to state we are in the presence of the biggest black comedy in all the cinema's story. Every detail is perfect, from the direction, passing through the superb cast, in... Read morePublished on April 30 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
This film is perfect. The humor, dry, understated but unwavering; the acting, positively first-rate by all parties. Dennis Price & Joan Greenwood have never been better. Read morePublished on May 29 2003 by inframan
Alec Guiness is justly celebrated for playing eight roles in the classic 1950 Ealing Comedy "Kind Hearts and Coronets," but you do have to remind yourself when you are enjoying... Read morePublished on May 4 2003 by Lawrance Bernabo