Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  14 June 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 24,134 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)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. 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?


Robert Hamer and Alec Guinness got along extremely well during the shoot and formed a friendship that would last for many years to come. "Robert and I spoke the same language and laughed at the same things," said Guinness in his 1985 memoir Blessings in Disguise. "He was finely-tuned, full of wicked glee, and was marvelous to actors - appreciative and encouraging." See more »


When Louis is crossing out the twins on the family tree, a rubbed out cross from an earlier take is visible. 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 »


Referenced in Creating 'The Upside of Anger' (2005) 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

Quite superb
9 July 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This fine film is an example of Ealing at its very best, with a superlative script and acting of a very high standard. In watching, one is once more all too sadly aware of the difference in quality between British films of this era and today; there can't have been in recent times a screenplay as cleverly comic, economical and incisive as this is. The level of wit is high, and perfectly suitable for a black comedy such as this. Certain lines and scenes linger agreeably in the memory; the part where Price, in his droll narration, slips into verse, is wonderful, as is the "fight" he has with a lower-class rival; "I'm not going to drawn into a scuffle with you!"

The element of class satire is strong, and while one is shown the lethargy and complacency of the upper classes through the amusing parade of Alec Guinness' characters, Price's corrupt plans are never condemned as such. His character, vigorous and witty, and the clever tool of narration, which in its tone draws in the viewer almost as a confidant. Similarly, but to an even more effective degree than in "Whisky Galore!" (1948) and "The League of Gentlemen" (1959), the viewer is made sympathetic to wrong-doings. The stunningly executed plot and dialogue are finely put across indeed by all of the actors. In the main role, Price refines and defines the cad Mancini perfectly; it really is a great performance, making the character more than memorable. Alec Guinness is great in his 8 roles, making a distinctive actorly mark in all of them. It says a lot that in a career as formidable as Guinness', in TV, film and theatre, his contribution to this film particularly stands out. The two ladies are impeccably played by Valerie Hobson and Joan Greenwood, who contrast quite perfectly; Hobson as rich and strait-laced if certainly beautiful, and Greenwood as the distinctively seductive childhood friend. Price's "juggling" of his two women is wonderfully arch and amusing. The film's ending should be noted as quite ingenious and wonderfully in keeping with the film's overall wit.

In the context even of Ealing, a studio adept at clever comedies, this is an extra-special film. Along with the films of this era of Powell and Pressburger and Carol Reed, this film makes one nostalgic for the days when British film was both distinctively British and universal in its qualities. Wonderfully funny and compelling, this film is one of my few favourites of all and overwhelmingly recommended.

Rating:- *****/*****

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