8.0/10
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148 user 110 critic

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | 14 June 1950 (USA)
Trailer
2:57 | Trailer
A distant poor relative of the Duke 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 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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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 ... Mama
Miles Malleson ... The Hangman
Clive Morton ... The Prison Governor
John Penrose ... Lionel
Cecil Ramage ... Crown Counsel
Hugh Griffith ... Lord High Steward
John Salew John Salew ... Mr. Perkins
Eric Messiter ... Burgoyne
Lyn Evans Lyn Evans ... The Farmer
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1976, EMI Films announced another adaptation of the source novel titled " Blue Blood and Bitter", with Lionel Jeffries directing, Ronald Harwood scripting, and Dick Emery, but on a budget of four hundred thousand pounds sterling. EMI felt it would have difficulty recouping its costs, and it was cancelled. See more »

Goofs

Shortly after we see a notice of the scheduled hanging, dated 1908, the hangman remarks, "Even my lamented master, the great Mr Berry himself, never had the privilege of hanging a duke." He presumably means James Berry who died in 1913. 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

The ending of the US version was extended to show the guards discovering Louis Mazzini's written memoirs/confessions to make it clear to the audience that he did not get away with the murders of his relatives, whilst the UK version remains ambiguous on the subject. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Dark Comedy Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Aria is
Il mio tesoro intanto"
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 »

User Reviews

 
Brilliantly fun, dark humour and satire
23 March 2005 | by Wulfstan10See all my reviews

Undoubtedly one of the most perfect, brilliant comedies ever, this movie is extremely fun and revels in its dark, clever humour. What can one say about a comedy centred around a dapper, charming, likable, impoverished young English gentleman who is at the same time an utterly remorseless, ever-calculating killer who has no qualms about killing an entire line of relatives who all stand in his path to inherit the family fortune? On top of that, he all the while takes great care in preserving his demeanor and status as a gentleman; all the relatives he must eliminate are brought to life by the genius of Alec Guinness; and there's an executioner who takes pains to show proper respect to his social "superior." The dialogue, indeed pretty much all of the humour, is a shining example of "British humour" at its best. It is subtle, clever, dark, and full of irony and satire. It is pure, brilliant entertainment that doesn't stop. Comedy really can't get much better than this.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kind Hearts and Coronets See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,004, 1 December 2019

Gross USA:

$35,948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$145,583
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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