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Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | 14 June 1950 (USA)
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2:57 | Trailer
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 »
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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 ... 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:

He chopped down the family tree... 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 »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$108,805
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Alec Guinness nearly drowned in the scene where the Admiral goes down with his sinking ship. Guinness was held down by wires whilst the set filled up with water. Once the scene was wrapped, the crew started to leave, until one technician suddenly realized that they had forgotten to release Sir Alec from the wires holding him underwater. He immediately dove into the waters with some wire-cutters and freed Guinness. Fortunately for all concerned, Guinness took great pride in his ability to hold his breath for long periods of time. See more »

Goofs

The first murder that Louis Mazzini commits involves him swimming fully dressed underwater to release a boat from its moorings. In spite of having brought no change of clothes or even a towel, he is shown shortly after committing the murder paddling down the river with his clothes bone dry. 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

Referenced in Arthur Lowe: A Life on the Box (1999) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
His memoirs!
5 August 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Robert Hamer, the director of "Kind Hearts and Coronets", one of the better comedies to come out of the Ealing studios in the late forties, created a memorable film that still keeps enchanting, no matter how many times one has seen it. This is a film that like a vintage wine gets better with age.

Of course, the right elements were put together in this venture under Mr. Hamer's direction, which is probably the best tribute one could say about the film.

Louis Mazzini, the young man who should have inherited a noble title that is lost as her mother elopes with an Italian tenor and she is disinherited. Louis is determined to regain what's due to him, by whatever means possible. Things go well for him, but he commits a mistake in entering an illicit romance with the calculating Sibella, while at the same time falling in love with the radiant Edith D'Ascoyne, the young widow.

Dennis Price gives a smart account of Louis Mazzini. He is a delight to watch as he keeps scratching off dead relatives from behind the picture frame. Alec Guinness portrays eight D'Ascoynes with an unusual panache. Best of all is Lady Agatha who encounters 'turbulence' while flying in a balloon. Valerie Hobson makes an impression with her Edith and Joan Greenwood is at her best as Sibella.

This is a film to treasure.


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