IMDb > Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
Kind Hearts and Coronets
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Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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Kind Hearts and Coronets -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   22,347 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Roy Horniman (novel)
Robert Hamer (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Kind Hearts and Coronets on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 June 1950 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
He chopped down the family tree... See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Devilishly funny. See more (114 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dennis Price ... Louis

Valerie Hobson ... Edith

Joan Greenwood ... Sibella

Alec Guinness ... 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

Hugh Griffith ... Lord High Steward
John Salew ... Mr. Perkins
Eric Messiter ... Burgoyne
Lyn Evans ... The Farmer
Barbara Leake ... The Schoolmistress
Peggy Ann Clifford ... Maud
Anne Valery ... The Girl in the punt

Arthur Lowe ... The Reporter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stanley Beard ... Warder (uncredited)
Maxwell Foster ... Warder (uncredited)
Peter Gawthorne ... First Lord Delivering Verdict (uncredited)
Molly Hamley-Clifford ... Lady Redpole (uncredited)
Leslie Handford ... Gamekeeper Hoskins (uncredited)
Nicholas Hill ... Sergeant-at-Arms (uncredited)
Fletcher Lightfoot ... Peer of the Realm (uncredited)
Cavan Malone ... Young Graham (uncredited)
Laurence Naismith ... Warder in Jail (uncredited)
Gordon Phillott ... Clerk of Parliament (uncredited)
Jeremy Spenser ... Young Louis (uncredited)
Ivan Staff ... Valuer (uncredited)
Richard Wattis ... Defence Counsel (uncredited)
Carol White ... Young Sibella (uncredited)
Harold Young ... Captain (uncredited)
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Directed by
Robert Hamer 
 
Writing credits
Roy Horniman (novel)

Robert Hamer (screenplay) &
John Dighton (screenplay)

Produced by
Michael Balcon .... producer
Michael Relph .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Ernest Irving (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Douglas Slocombe (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Peter Tanner 
 
Art Direction by
William Kellner 
 
Costume Design by
Anthony Mendleson 
 
Makeup Department
Barbara Barnard .... hair styles
Harry Frampton .... makeup artist
Pearl Orton .... hair styles (as Pearl Gardner)
Ernest Taylor .... makeup artist
Daphne Martin .... assistant hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Leigh Aman .... unit production manager
Hal Mason .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Norman Priggen .... assistant director
John Hewlett .... third assistant director (uncredited)
David W. Orton .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Grace Bryan-Brown .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Bert Davey .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Norman Dorme .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Roger Hopkin .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Jack Shampan .... draughtsman (uncredited)
V. Shaw .... draughtsman (uncredited)
R. Thurgarland .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Stephen Dalby .... sound supervisor
John W. Mitchell .... recordist (as John Mitchell)
Norman King .... chief sound engineer (uncredited)
A. Steadman .... boom operator (uncredited)
Gordon Stone .... dubbing editor (uncredited)
Pat Wheeler .... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Geoffrey Dickinson .... special effects
Sydney Pearson .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeff Seaholme .... camera operator
Jack Dooley .... still photographer (uncredited)
Arthur Lemming .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Bob Penn .... still photographer (uncredited)
P. Pollock .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Hugh Wilson .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Edith Crutchley .... wardrobe mistress (uncredited)
Ben Foster .... wardrobe master (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Roy Baker .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Seth Holt .... assembly cutter (uncredited)
John Jympson .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ernest Irving .... conductor: The Philharmonia Orchestra
 
Other crew
Phyllis Crocker .... continuity
J. Arthur Rank .... presenter (as J.Arthur Rank)
Susan Carbutt .... assistant continuity (uncredited)
John Newham .... publicist (uncredited)
Pat O'Connor .... publicist (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
106 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:X | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Iceland:L | India:U | Netherlands:6 | Portugal:M/12 | UK:A (original rating) (cut) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (re-release) (re-rating) (2011) | UK:U (video rating) (1988) (2006) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #13442) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Alec Guinness was only 35 when he played his eight roles.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Warder in Jail:Good evening, Mr. Elliot.
The Hangman:Good evening.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Threads (1984) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Il mio tesoro intantoSee more »

FAQ

Is "Kind Hearts and Coronets" based on a novel?
What is the title "Kind Hearts and Coronets" supposed to mean?
Who are Alec Guinness's eight characters, and how do they die?
See more »
36 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
Devilishly funny., 27 April 2006
Author: PizzicatoFishCrouch from United Kingdom

When possible Duke Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price)'s mother dies, she leaves him a dying wish of being buried in his aristocratic family's plot who have shunned her all her life, he sets about getting it done. Imagine his fury and dismay when they say no. He sets about getting revenge, as well as winning the heart of the mercenary woman he loves through murdering each of the eight d'Ascoyne family members that stand between him and a title, riches, and everything that he feels he deserves.

Wearing the Ealing black comedy streak on its sleeve and gleefully black, Kind Hearts and Coronets has got to be one of the funniest films about murder to be made. Much of this owes kudos to Alec Guinness' fantastic performance, a true tour-de-force in comedy. He plays all eight of the family members, from the suffragette feminist Lady Agatha d'Ascoyne, to the dull and dim Reverend d'Ascoyne with commendable diversity, changing his tone, stature, facial expressions and accent to play each character as if they were a completely new person. Such a performance could only prepare us for good things, which Guinness then continued to deliver.

That said, Dennis Price takes the lead excellently. As Louis Mazzini d'Ascoyne, he murders, poisons and drowns each of the characters without a sense of remorse that could seem cold and inhumane, but the audience find amusing. We eagerly await his calculation of the death of another, because we know it will have hilarious consequences, and the plot never holds back. However, his dry narration tells a story that hides a sad tinge, as well as delivering sardonic social commentary on post-war Britain, where the gold digging (played with disgusting sugariness by Joan Greenwood) women were everywhere and to some people, rank was all that mattered. This is what makes each of the deaths so comical, giving us a little glee that the snobs are getting what they deserve.

For those who don't want to watch a film for the history lesson, no fear – Kind Hearts and Coronets truly shines as a comedy. Even now, the one-liners and biting irony rings and every scene has a joke to laugh at. Under director Robert Hamer's ultra-capable hands, a warm-hearted satire has been crafted. You really can't get much better, or much intelligent than this.

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Message Boards

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Should we Colorize Classics like this? pluto-11
Racist Language Stargate4
This is probably a weird question... RetroDoll
The port is with you! stephenfb
Interesting Coincidence Frumious_Bandersnatch_46
Was the American Switch REALLY necessary? Dr_Keating
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