Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
Average Rating: 9.1/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 9.3/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 8,860
Alec Guinness gets to die eight times, playing a line of successors to a dukedom, in the Ealing black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets. Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) is ninth in line to inherit the dukedom from the aristocratic D'Ascoyne family. Louis vows to kill all eight people who stand between him and the duke's title. Aside from two cases of natural causes, Louis works through the list, eliminating rivals (all played by Guinness). Along the way he romances Sibella (Joan Greenwood), a
Jun 21, 1949 Wide
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At once a witty comedy of manners, a grotesque serial-killer caper and an acerbic satire on the class system.
Robert Hamer's 1949 film is often cited as the definitive black, eccentric British comedy, yet it's several cuts better than practically anything else in the genre.
It's a brilliantly cynical film without a hint of middle-class guilt or bitterness.
Despite its murders and intrigues, its betrayals and blood feuds, Kind Hearts and Coronets has a dry and detached air.
Shot through with pitch black humour and biting satire on both the moribund upper class and the grasping venality of the suburban middle class.
Hamer had a particular liking for the late-Victorian/Edwardian world and was a great Francophile.
Amazingly courageous for its day (1949) in combining bad taste with good comedy.
Technically brilliant and savagely funny, serial killing has never looked so much fun.
Robert Hamer's poised direction chimes perfectly with his Edwardian setting, and the Wildean wit of Price's voice-over is an unfailing delight.
The most sophisticated and blackest of the Ealing comedies, Hamer's immaculate, serial-killer romp gives the splendid Guinness the roles of a lifetime.
Robert Hamer's 1949 film is an impeccable premiere example of Black Comedy.
In a career noted for multiple characterizations, Alec Guinness had his finest hour in the dryly hilarious Ealing Studios comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets ...
There's a surprise ending that helps make this one of Ealing's darkest comedies.
Brilliantly sustains its outrageous black humor [with] a constant ironic contrast between the outward gentility… of its aristocratic milieu and the moral decadence… beneath it all.
It was Voltaire, probably, who said that if Alec Guinness did not exist it would be necessary for Ealing Studios to invent him.
A droll and delicious black comedy, one of the Ealing Studios' regal postwar hits.
Audience Reviews for Kind Hearts and Coronets
- Duke of Chalfont: It had to be said that Henry was no longer to take part in activities.
- Sibella: Louis, I think I've married the most boring man in London!
- Duke of Chalfont: England?
- Sibella: In Europe!
- Edith D'Ascoyne: Kind hearts are more than coronets, and simple faith than Norman blood.
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