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Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  14 June 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 24,113 users  
Reviews: 121 user | 90 critic

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The D'Ascoyne Family: The Duke / The Banker / The Parson / The General / The Admiral / Young Ascoyne / Young Henry / Lady Agatha
Audrey Fildes ...
Miles Malleson ...
The Hangman
Clive Morton ...
The Prison Governor
John Penrose ...
Cecil Ramage ...
Crown Counsel
Lord High Steward
John Salew ...
Mr. Perkins
Eric Messiter ...
Lyn Evans ...
The Farmer
Barbara Leake ...
The Schoolmistress
Peggy Ann Clifford ...


Louis Mazzini's mother belongs to the aristocratic family D'Ascoyne, but she ran away with an opera singer. Therefore, she and Louis were rejected by the D'Ascoynes. Once adult, Louis decides to avenges his mother and him, by becoming the next Duke of the family. Murdering every potential successor is clearly the safest way to achieve his goal... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

duke | jealousy | heir | dukedom | singer | See All (228) »


A hilarious study in the gentle art of murder. See more »


Comedy | Crime


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 June 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Oito Vítimas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The opening music to the film is based on the aria "Il mio tesoro" from Don Giovanni by Mozart. It appears several times in the film. For instance, Louis' mother plays it on the piano, and his father sings it near the start of the film. See more »


When "The Hangman" (Miles Malleson) opens the peep-hole to the prisoner's cell, he moves the covering to the right, with a finger. After we are allowed to gaze at the back of the prisoner's neck for a few seconds, the shot reverts to the outside of the cell door; The Hangman releases the cover which closes from left to right, not right to left, as it should have done. See more »


[first lines]
Warder in Jail: Good evening, Mr. Elliot.
The Hangman: Good evening.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits list photos of the 4 leading actors with their character names; in the case of Alec Guinness, 8 photos of the 8 characters he plays are shown, along with the one character name of "The D'Ascoyne Family." In the end credits, the 8 character names are listed for him. See more »


Featured in Best of British: Ealing Comedies (1993) See more »


Il mio tesoro intanto
The Aria is
from Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte (uncredited)
The music is played by The Philharmonia Orchestra
Conducted by Ernest Irving
Sung by an unidentified solist
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliantly fun, dark humour and satire
23 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Undoubtedly one of the most perfect, brilliant comedies ever, this movie is extremely fun and revels in its dark, clever humour. What can one say about a comedy centred around a dapper, charming, likable, impoverished young English gentleman who is at the same time an utterly remorseless, ever-calculating killer who has no qualms about killing an entire line of relatives who all stand in his path to inherit the family fortune? On top of that, he all the while takes great care in preserving his demeanor and status as a gentleman; all the relatives he must eliminate are brought to life by the genius of Alec Guinness; and there's an executioner who takes pains to show proper respect to his social "superior." The dialogue, indeed pretty much all of the humour, is a shining example of "British humour" at its best. It is subtle, clever, dark, and full of irony and satire. It is pure, brilliant entertainment that doesn't stop. Comedy really can't get much better than this.

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