Monday, September 24, 2012

Movie of the Week – Kind Hearts and Coronets

This week’s movie is Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

The comedy is about Louis Mazzini, the distant relative of the Duke of D’Ascoyne. His mother married a commoner and was shunned by the rest of her family. After her death, Louis plots to murder all eight of the other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession to the Dukedom, and thus taking his revenge on the Ascoyne family for their treatment of his mother. The film is written and directed by Robert Hamer, who also had a comedy hit with School for Scoundrels. He worked with cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (who went on to finish his career shooting the Indiana Jones trilogy) and art director William Kellner. What truly makes the film great, however, is its performances. Dennis Price, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, and Alec Guinness (who plays all eight members of the Ascoyne family) are all fantastic in the film. With all the remakes, I am shocked that this has yet to reappear (though it was once attempted with Will Smith and Robin Williams), as it is a great and funny story. This is a must-see for fans of darker comedies, British comedies and Alec Guinness. Check out the trailer.

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