Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Comedy, Crime
  • 1949
  • 105 mins

Kind Hearts And Coronets

Kind Hearts And Coronets

Synopsis

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

About

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: Miles Malleson, Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson, Alec Guinness, Dennis Price, Audrey Fildes
  • Director: Robert Hamer
  • Screen Writer: Robert Hamer, John Dighton
  • 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

    The First Film

    Director David Nicholas Wilkinson's documentary about how the world's first-ever movie was made in Wilkinson's native Leeds.

  • Film4

    Hercules

    Lou Ferrigno (star of TV series The Incredible Hulk), Sybil Danning, Ingrid Anderson and Mirella D'Angelo star in Luigi Cozzi's mythological romp for the low-budget action specialists The Cannon Group.

  • Film4

    Wild Tales on Film4

    Damián Szifrons BAFTA-winning black comedy plays on Film4 for the first time.

  • Film4

    As Above, So Below on Film4

    A deadly secret is discovered under the streets of Paris in this intensely creepy found-footage horror, playing on Film4 for the first time.

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share