Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

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Movie Info

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 childhood friend who ends up marrying a dullard, and Edith (Valerie Hobson), the beautiful widow of one of his victims with whom he plans to share his title. But just when Louis is ready to assume the D'Ascoyne mantle, a bizarre irony strikes.

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Cast

Dennis Price
as Louis Mazzini
Valerie Hobson
as Edith D'Ascoyne
Cecil Ramage
as Crown Counsel
Hugh Griffith
as Lord High Steward
Lynn Evans
as The Farmer
John Salew
as Mr. Perkins
Eric Messiter
as Burgoyne
Anne Valery
as The Girl in the Punt
Arthur Lowe
as The Reporter
Lyn Evans
as The Farmer
Barbara Leake
as The Schoolmistress
Clive Morton
as Prison Governor
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Critic Reviews for Kind Hearts and Coronets

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (6)

At once a witty comedy of manners, a grotesque serial-killer caper and an acerbic satire on the class system.

Full Review… | August 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | September 3, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Translation to a screen comedy has been effected with a mature wit.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

It's a brilliantly cynical film without a hint of middle-class guilt or bitterness.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The sly and adroit Mr. Guinness plays eight Edwardian fuddy-duds with such devastating wit and variety that he naturally dominates the film.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Despite its murders and intrigues, its betrayals and blood feuds, Kind Hearts and Coronets has a dry and detached air.

Full Review… | September 27, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Kind Hearts and Coronets

Alec Guinness is fantastic playing eight different characters but it is Dennis Price who shines in this witty, delightful British dark comedy that proves so compelling as we are grabbed by the minutiae of the main character's plan to eliminate eight people in order to obtain a title.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Fantastic performances and a tightly wound script as well as some pitch black humour. Full review later.

Thomas Bowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

½

An expertly crafted British black comedy, Kind Hearts and Coronets features a remarkably witty script and eight iconic performances from Sir Alec Guinness as every member of the antagonist d'Ascoyne family, not to mention the marvelously cheeky work Dennis Price put forth as the lead anti-hero. A true treat of cinematic cynicism in a fresh, post-WWII European society.

Kristijonas Fussman
Kristijonas Fussman

Super Reviewer

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