Kind Hearts and Coronets - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kind Hearts and Coronets Reviews

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November 7, 2017
What started out as a seemingly boring and slow movie, quickly turned into a very interesting and original movie plot. I'd never seen anything quite like this.

Cynical and humorous to a tee. You can even say this is dark humor. To see the main character commit these crimes with such composure and patience, as if he we're taking the whole course of actions so nonchalantly, was something almost very eerie to watch.

This movie is so brilliantly written. The way the deaths take place and seeing how dark and passionate Louis was about avenging his dead mother was a striking thing to see.

And let me tell you, what an ending! To see that the pages he'd written all along we're still sitting on the desk inside the prison was a complete shock that made me scream out loud in laughter.

Overall, this movie was absolutely brilliant and the acting was superb. I like to think that he was able to go back into the prison and retrieve the pages. Then after that, he would retreat with Edith and kill off Sibella. After all, Edith, to me, is way more prettier and more lovely than Sibella. She is more pure than Sibella. Where as Sibella cheated on her husband during her marriage and loathed to be with him, Edith was loyal.
½ August 31, 2017
Classic 'Ealing' comedy from 1949.
Now I think of comedy as telling jokes, pulling a face etc..however this film is not an example of that at all. My first foray into the films that were shot post war at the old Ealing Studios in London, U.K. that became known as Ealing comedies.
It is more a black comedy. Showing humour such as the screenplay itself.
The screenplay is about a rich, aristocratic family called D'Ascoyne's. The family has a noble title producing the Lord Chalfont.
The family have a black sheep as such caused by one of the members having a relationship and producing a son with an Italian.
The said black sheep of the family, a female branch and the son Louis Mazzini (Vincent Price) live in relative London suburbia poverty well away from the trappings of aristocracy.
In later life Louis becomes bitter and vows revenge on the family who have disowned him and stand in the way of the dukedom. All eight members!
Hence a series of murders occurs as Louis becomes ever closer to being ancestor to the Lord Chalfont title.
I didn't realise until watching the film that all those eight members of both genders are brilliantly portrayed by Alex Guiness. A far cry from some of his roles in later life!
The film is a delight and the old black and white photography a triumph that adds to the class of the film.
On further reading the Director of Photography is Douglas Slocombe who I recognise from Carry On films to Indiana Jones blockbusters.
Surprisingly good first foray into the Ealing comedy.
June 6, 2017
In the hours before his execution for murder, Louis, the 10th Duke of Chalfont, writes his memoirs. In them he details how, though descended from nobility, he grew up poor and had to pull himself up by his bootstraps, career-wise. Then, discovering that only eight members of the D'Ascoyne family stood between him and the dukedom, he systematically started killing them, making the murders look like accidents.

Interesting, intriguing crime drama, with a dry, dark humour about it. The whole sequence of events leading up to and including Louis knocking off the claimants to the dukedom makes for compelling viewing. Quirkily funny at times too.

More than just a crime drama, the movie also pokes fun at England's class and peerage system. You can well imagine that someone would go to such lengths for a title and the wealth and other benefits it bestows.

Solid work by Dennis Price as Louis. Standout performance(s), however, goes to Alec Guiness who plays all eight members of the D'Ascoyne family! Good support from Valerie Hobson and Joan Greenwood.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2016
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 showing the minutiae of the main character's plan to eliminate eight people in order to obtain a title.
September 21, 2016
One of the most definitively British black comedies ever made. It's a polite, calm, literary film in which at least 7 people are murdered. The standout cast member is Alec Guinness who plays all the members of the D'Ascoyne family, various ages and genders, all with subtle makeup and slight variations of manner and accent. When Peter Sellers did a trick like this, he was broad and uproarious. Guinness is extraordinarily subtle. Amazingly, Dennis Price is not overshadowed by Guinness. His role is important ... you will only go with this film if you essentially like this man who is effectively a serial killer. The rest of the cast is in top form too, especially Joan Greenwood who has the greatest voice ever put on screen.
July 27, 2016
****
An excellent comedy/drama with two very important things, the latter of which some modern day films lack: good acting and an excellent script. The story is hilarious, and everything Dennis Price does is absolutely brilliant. A great classic!
½ July 3, 2016
A ninth-in-line successor makes a killer beeline to dukedom, only to be accused of murdering someone else in this dark British comedy starring the great Alec Guinness.
May 23, 2016
Kind Hearts and Coronets is a scathing satire on the British classes as well as being a sophisticated and clever comedy with a touch of murder.
March 2, 2016
Kind Hearts and Coronets is one of the most brutal, and most hilariously British, films ever made. Alec Guinness's portrayal of eight different victims is laudable, but Dennis Price's performance is completely compelling in every sense. His character is thoroughly insane, but it is impossible to imagine an insane serial killer being any more gentlemanly and proper. The writing is hilarious and as dry as they come, but it's Price's performance that make this film the imminently watchable masterpiece that it is.
December 21, 2015
Talk about the perfect movie. This is it. Look for the comment about "blood sports". Wonderful ending.
½ November 14, 2015
Never have I seen a revenge story can be as hilarious and twisted as this one. Alec Guiness' solid performance certainly elevates this film to a Classical level!
½ October 30, 2015
Kind Hearts and Coronets isn't as funny as it should have been, but it is very funny from time to time, it is always involving and energetic, very authentic and sophisticated and filled with so many great performances, intriguing characters, superb dialogue and such a crazy, but incredibly satisfying story.
June 15, 2015
Undoubtedly one of my favourite films, Alec Guinness is a comic superstar with his successful portrayal of a wide range of roles that mirror his reputation as an actor supreme in his generation. The film is well written and executed, with plenty of laughs and an ageless sense of plot that can be enjoyed for years to come. Robert Hamer performed well, creating a masterpiece of memorable scenes and quotes, with stellar performances all around. A film that is a landmark of British film making and one that I would recommend to everyone.
January 30, 2015
Fantastic performances and a tightly wound script as well as some pitch black humour. Full review later.
January 28, 2015
A cynical black comedy of manners in which Alec Guinness serves up 8 lovely performances.
½ January 21, 2015
Kind Hearts and Coronets is the story of a young man who decides to kill all his family members that stand between him and becoming a duke. It is a very dark comedy, because it tries to make all these murders seem like an insignificant thing. The true magic of the film is that, by making the killer our narrator it actually gets the audience into his head and somehow makes it OK that he is killing these people even to the point where you are rooting for him. I'm not spoiling a whole lot here, although it seems like I am, because there is a framing device that sets up Louis already on death row as the duke. I have a hard time expressing just how delightful this film is, because the story sounds so dark, but I genuinely laughed out loud more than once. I think what makes it work is the combination of the cast (which I'll get into in just a second) and the script. Usually I don't think I'd care for a framing device like this one, because it reveals too much at the outset. However there is still a bit of mystery in Kind Hearts and Coronets. Ultimately the puzzle becomes figuring out just how he got caught, it's almost like a reverse murder mystery.

Now the cast must be addressed here. First of all Dennis Price is amazing as Louis. He is both sympathetic and cunning. He does a superb job of portraying all the conflicting emotions he is dealing with, but also the cold calculation that is necessary for his machinations to work. Valerie Hobson and Joan Greenwood are perfect as Louis' 2 love interests because they have such totally different performances. Just from their accents and intonation you can tell what kind of person they are and what Louis sees in them. Now I've avoided talking about the master stroke of Kind Hearts and Coronets long enough. The truth is, while Dennis Price has the lead role, this film is only possible because of the brilliance of Alec Guinness. He plays the part of all 8 members of the duke's family. I didn't know this going in so I was extremely surprised to see that familiar face popping up again and again. He is the comedic heart of this film, and he delivers 8 unique performances. Aside from seeing the familiar features in each face there really isn't much to connect his portrayal of the Admiral and the Parson, or the Duke and Lady Agatha. All around I was just delighted by Kind Hearts and Coronets and I highly recommend it, especially if you still think Alec Guinness is just "that guy who played Obi-Wan Kenobi."
January 20, 2015
Humor negro britÓnico con un multifacŔtico Alec Guinness.
December 6, 2014
This was on TV last week - I had forgotten how dark and wickedly fun this film is - I have seen it lots over the years and still think its wonderful.
November 12, 2014
One of the greatest black comedies in movie history. While Alec Guinness steals the show, Dennis Price was also outstanding. Probably the most famous of the Ealing comedies, It's a masterpiece.
October 29, 2014
The greatest English black comedy of all time? A deathly joy to watch over and over through the decades. Sir Alec Guinness rings in as the most underrated Brit actor of all time?
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