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.
A hilarious study in the gentle art of murder.
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Did You Know?
This movie has a one hundred percent rating based on thirty-nine critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more
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
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
The Aria is
Il mio tesoro intanto"
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 soloist See more