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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

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 »

Goofs

When Louis is attacked with a knife, he punches the assailant, knocking him cold. Although a sound effect is heard, you can see that the punch doesn't connect. 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

Featured in Best of British: Ealing Comedies (1993) 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

 
First class British film-making.
28 November 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

As is the case with most great things, the basic premise of this film is simple. There is, however, an essential darkness at the heart of the movie: the cold blooded and calculating murder of all those who stand between Dennis Price and his possible succession to a title. That this is treated in so light and civilised a way is the triumph of the film. The screenplay and performances complement each other perfectly and are a credit to all those involved. I cannot think of a weak link in the film. The casting was beautifully judged down to the most minor character. The leads are, though, just about perfect. For my money, it is the best of Dennis Price's film work (though his Jeeves on television in the 60's was good, too). Guinness was splendid and well supported by Valerie Hobson and Joan Greenwood. I have probably seen the film more than a dozen times in the past thirty years. Each time it offers something fresh and new. Quite simply one of the best.


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