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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.

Director:

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
Clive Morton ...
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

Plot Keywords:

duke | prison | jealousy | heir | dukedom | See All (202) »

Taglines:

A hilarious study in the gentle art of murder. 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

The right of peers to be tried in the House of Lords was abolished in 1949, the same year the film was released. The two were not connected, the right was abolished due to a combination of a Labour Government and reaction from a drunk driving case where the lordly defendant was tried in the House of Lords. 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 Cutting Edge: Crooked Tarts and Coronets (2003) 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

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User Reviews

Comedy of wit and manners reaches its height here---PLEASE DO NOT REMAKE IT!
31 March 2004 | by (Dobbs Ferry, NY) – See all my reviews

I've seen this gem half a dozen times and look forward to seeing it a few times more. It's a masterpiece of unsentimental, yet genteel, humor, and features performances by some extraordinary actors. Sir Alec Guiness's eight different turns have been much commented on and deserve every superlative they've received. Dennis Price is too little recognized--in the US, at least--for his gifts, as his work here proves. Valerie Hobson is wonderful, and Joyce Greenwood is...I would happily buy a recording of her reading the OED, just to hear that astonishing voice. And, in a small but marvelous role, Miles Malleson is superb. If you have not seen this film, it's readily available. Give yourself a treat. I know that Hollywood seems to have forgotten that there's nothing to be gained by trying to remake a perfect film. If they ever dare to do it with this one--I don't give a damn who is in it, or who directs or writes--don't bother. See the original. None genuine without the Ealing Label.


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