In prison awaiting execution the next morning, Louis, the 10th Duke of Chalfont, puts 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.
He chopped down the family tree...
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Did You Know?
Director Robert Hamer
and Sir 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
Warder in Jail
Good evening, Mr. Elliot.
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
Early VHS prints sold in the U.S. changed the line "catch a n****r by his toe" to "catch a tiger by his toe" See more
Il mio tesoro intanto
The Aria is
from Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
The music is played by The Philharmonia Orchestra
Conducted by Ernest Irving
Sung by an unidentified solist See more