Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Comedy, Crime
  • 1949
  • 105 mins

Kind Hearts And Coronets

Kind Hearts And Coronets


Alec Guinness plays all the members of the aristocratic D'Ascoyne family in this pitch black British comedy


Rereleased in a new digital restoration by Optimum in August 2011.

The most sophisticated and blackest of the Ealing comedies, Hamer's immaculate, serial-killer romp gives the splendid Guinness the roles of a lifetime.

Price plays the vengeful Louis Mazzini, an aristocrat manque ruthlessly determined to get his own back on the d'Ascoyne family who drove his mother to an early grave, and deprived her and him of their rightful station in life. Starting out as a humble clerk in the d'Ascoyne family business, Louis resolves to kill each of the family members who stand between him and his unlikely accession to the dukedom of Chalfont.

In a remarkable portmanteau of performances, ranging from comic caricatures to rounded, touching characters, Guinness relishes his chance to show off, playing all eight doomed d'Ascoynes.

The story is told in flashback as Louis, on the eve of his execution for a murder that was, ironically, a suicide, reads through his own memoirs. The film is beautifully designed and shot, the script witty, sexy and supremely cynical. But after this, Hamer's life and career went into a terminal decline and he never again came close to matching this assured, brutally funny film.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Valerie Hobson, Miles Malleson, Audrey Fildes, Alec Guinness, Dennis Price, Joan Greenwood
  • Director: Robert Hamer
  • Screen Writer: John Dighton, Robert Hamer
  • Producer: Michael Balcon
  • Photographer: Douglas Slocombe
  • Composer: Ernest Irving

In a nutshell

British filmmaking at its best and most memorable, Kind Hearts And Coronets deserves its place in the heart of Ealing fans and cinephiles alike.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4


    Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster

  • Film4

    The Purge

    Ethan Hawke stars in James DeMonaco's drama about a sanctioned night where all crime is legal

  • Film4

    Me and You on Film4

    Premiere of Bernardo Bertoluccis drama about a boy and his half-sister who run away together.

  • Film4

    Philadelphia on Film4

    Denzel Washington and Oscar-winning Tom Hanks star in Jonathan Demme's powerful drama.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    BIFA brings 2015 nominated films to cinemas

    BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed films receive 41 nominations at the BIFAs

    Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register