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Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | 14 June 1950 (USA)
Trailer
2:59 | Trailer

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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:

Robert Hamer

Writers:

Roy Horniman (novel), Robert Hamer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Audrey Fildes ... Mama
Miles Malleson ... The Hangman
Clive Morton ... The Prison Governor
John Penrose John Penrose ... Lionel
Cecil Ramage Cecil Ramage ... Crown Counsel
Hugh Griffith ... Lord High Steward
John Salew John Salew ... Mr. Perkins
Eric Messiter Eric Messiter ... Burgoyne
Lyn Evans Lyn Evans ... The Farmer
Barbara Leake Barbara Leake ... The Schoolmistress
Peggy Ann Clifford Peggy Ann Clifford ... Maud
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Storyline

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. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A hilarious study in the gentle art of murder. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adel verpflichtet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An alternate ending was required for the U.S., where distributors balked at the movie's ambiguous ending (the U.S. Production Code at the time stipulated that crime could not be seen to pay). These extra ten seconds were not kept by Ealing, but were unearthed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where they had been quietly filed away in a film storage facility. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Was available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Forever Ealing (2002) 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 soloist
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The greatest Ealing movie ever
27 December 1999 | by McMurdoSee all my reviews

I was made to watch this movie by my mum many, many years ago. I grumbled for maybe 15 minutes. After that, I was in love. This is definitely one of the best films I've ever seen. Ealing at its best. Alec Guinness at his best. Truly a phenomenal movie. Dark, humorous and brilliantly directed, it's definitely one of the greatest films to come out of Britain. Please rent it (if you can find it). I agree with the other comment - it's totally under-appreciated. Except by those who've seen it.


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