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Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
First class British film-making.
As is the case with most great things, the basic premise of this film is simple. There is, however, an essential darkness at the heart of the movie: the cold blooded and calculating murder of all those who stand between Dennis Price and his possible succession to a title. That this is treated in so light and civilised a way is the triumph of the film. The screenplay and performances complement each other perfectly and are a credit to all those involved. I cannot think of a weak link in the film. The casting was beautifully judged down to the most minor character. The leads are, though, just about perfect. For my money, it is the best of Dennis Price's film work (though his Jeeves on television in the 60's was good, too). Guinness was splendid and well supported by Valerie Hobson and Joan Greenwood. I have probably seen the film more than a dozen times in the past thirty years. Each time it offers something fresh and new. Quite simply one of the best.