2 items from 2011
Has there ever been a more charming psychopath than Louis Mazzini? He is intelligent, diplomatic and witty, and able to ingratiate himself into almost any of Edwardian London’s social circles. He also, to his shame, is poor. His mother was cast out by her wealthy family – the D’Ascoynes, dukedom and all – when she married an Italian opera singer; he dies upon first seeing the infant Louis. That could be just a coincidence, or just a gag. Or it could be something to do with the fact that Louis is – if anyone were to describe him in such vulgar terms – evil.
One of the remarkable things about Kind Hearts and Coronets, the classic 1949 black comedy from Ealing Studios, is how easily the audience finds itself on Louis’s side; despite being made in post-war Britain and set in the early 20th century, its own lack of sentiment has preserved »
- Adam Whyte
Re-released into the nation’s cinemas last Friday Kind Hearts and Coronets is perhaps the most famous of Ealing’s celebrated comedies, detailing the retribution and enforced inheritance of a Dukedom via the macabre fate of the various ill-natured and intemperate members of the D’Ascoyne family.
It’s a beautifully pitched comedy of terrors, leading us through an increasingly dark labyrinth of revenge, double crossing love matches and murder in the most polite fashion.
Dennis Price leads us as the outcast Louis Mazzini, who seeks to avenge his Mother’s rebuff from her rich family but pruning the family tree to allow for his succession to the position of Duke of Chalfont. Stir into the mix a childhood sweetheart spurning the poor Louis’ proposal in favour of a ridiculous, but rich, man and the universe conspires for the diabolical plan to unfold.
Every time I watch this film I »
- Jon Lyus
2 items from 2011
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