Kind Hearts and Coronets
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Kind Hearts and Coronets
Alec Guinness gets to die eight times, playing a line of successors to a dukedom, in the Ealing black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets. Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) is ninth in line to inherit the dukedom from the aristocratic D'Ascoyne family. Louis vows to kill all eight people who stand between him and the duke's title. Aside from two cases of natural causes, Louis works through the list, eliminating rivals (all played by Guinness). Along the way he romances Sibella (Joan Greenwood), a childhood friend who ends up marrying a dullard, and Edith (Valerie Hobson), the beautiful widow of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"At once a witty comedy of manners, a grotesque serial-killer caper and an acerbic satire on the class system."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out
"It's a brilliantly cynical film without a hint of middle-class guilt or bitterness."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Shot through with pitch black humour and biting satire on both the moribund upper class and the grasping venality of the suburban middle class."
‑ Keir Roper-Caldbeck, The Skinny
"This was Robert Hamer's masterpiece..."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"A comedic gem featuring the incomparable Sir Alec Guinness."
‑ M. Faust, Common Sense Media
"Robert Hamer's 1949 film is often cited as the definitive black, eccentric British comedy, yet it's several cuts better than practically anything else in the genre."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The sly and adroit Mr. Guinness plays eight Edwardian fuddy-duds with such devastating wit and variety that he naturally dominates the film."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Hamer had a particular liking for the late-Victorian/Edwardian world and was a great Francophile."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Technically brilliant and savagely funny, serial killing has never looked so much fun."
‑ Paul M. Bradshaw, Little White Lies
"The most sophisticated and blackest of the Ealing comedies, Hamer's immaculate, serial-killer romp gives the splendid Guinness the roles of a lifetime."
‑ , Film4
"Translation to a screen comedy has been effected with a mature wit."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Despite its murders and intrigues, its betrayals and blood feuds, Kind Hearts and Coronets has a dry and detached air."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Amazingly courageous for its day (1949) in combining bad taste with good comedy."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Robert Hamer's poised direction chimes perfectly with his Edwardian setting, and the Wildean wit of Price's voice-over is an unfailing delight."
‑ Philip Kemp, Total Film
"Robert Hamer's 1949 film is an impeccable premiere example of Black Comedy."
‑ Cole Smithey,
More reviews for Kind Hearts and Coronets on Rotten Tomatoes