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Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 14 June 1950 (USA)
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.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

In prison awaiting execution the next morning Louis, the 10th Duke of Chalfont, sets down on paper the events that led him to his current situation. His mother has been banished from her family, the D'Ascoynes, after she married Louis' father who was considered far beneath her. After her death, the D'Ascoynes refused permission for her to be buried in the family crypt. Louis then plots his revenge - and kills all those ahead of him in the succession until he becomes the Duke. Along the way, he becomes involved with the married Sibelia who, when spurned, makes sure he ends up in prison. The day before his execution Sibelia recants her testimony saving him not only from the gallows but also sets him free. Once outside the prison however, he realizes he's forgotten one little thing........ Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He chopped down the family tree... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adel verpflichtet  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alec Guinness was only 35 when he played his eight roles. See more »

Goofs

Shortly after we see a notice of the scheduled hanging, dated 1908, the hangman remarks, "Even my lamented master, the great Mr Berry himself, never had the privilege of hanging a duke." He presumably means James Berry who died in 1913. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Tower (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
His memoirs!
5 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Robert Hamer, the director of "Kind Hearts and Coronets", one of the better comedies to come out of the Ealing studios in the late forties, created a memorable film that still keeps enchanting, no matter how many times one has seen it. This is a film that like a vintage wine gets better with age.

Of course, the right elements were put together in this venture under Mr. Hamer's direction, which is probably the best tribute one could say about the film.

Louis Mazzini, the young man who should have inherited a noble title that is lost as her mother elopes with an Italian tenor and she is disinherited. Louis is determined to regain what's due to him, by whatever means possible. Things go well for him, but he commits a mistake in entering an illicit romance with the calculating Sibella, while at the same time falling in love with the radiant Edith D'Ascoyne, the young widow.

Dennis Price gives a smart account of Louis Mazzini. He is a delight to watch as he keeps scratching off dead relatives from behind the picture frame. Alec Guinness portrays eight D'Ascoynes with an unusual panache. Best of all is Lady Agatha who encounters 'turbulence' while flying in a balloon. Valerie Hobson makes an impression with her Edith and Joan Greenwood is at her best as Sibella.

This is a film to treasure.


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