Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Kind Hearts and Coronets|
Actors: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, Audrey Fildes
Director: Robert Hamer
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Set in Victorian England, Robert Hamer's 1949 masterpiece Kind Hearts and Coronets remains the most gracefully mordant of the Ealing comedies. Dennis Price plays Louis D'Ascoyne, the would-be Duke of Chalfont whose mother ... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Aimee M. (AimeeM)
Reviewed on 2/5/2008...
The fact that Alec Guinness gets to play the part of 8 different people, makes this movie hilarious! And shows what a great actor Guinness really is (for those of you still scratching your heads about this guy... he was Obi-Wan Kenobi on the original Star Wars... but in his younger years he was a great British comedic actor)
The ending plot twist is quite ironic, and funny. Overall I enjoy this film. As long as you don't take the murders too seriously. (For Parents: this is an old black and white so there is nothing graphic)
Utterly delightful black comedy
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 07/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is most famous as the one in which Alec Guinness plays eight roles, but I have always been somewhat uncomfortable with the film being characterized in that way, because it makes it sound as if the main attraction of the film is a gimmick. In fact, this is a first rate comedy in many ways. This was one in a series of great comedies produced by the Ealing Studios in the 1940s and 1950s. The film stars Dennis Price as the narrator, Louis Mazzini. He recounts his efforts to wreck revenge on the members of his mother's titled family who had disowned her when she married an Italian opera singer. His particular form of revenge consists of murder, and the film consists of his various efforts in this direction. Guinness, who in the course of his career managed to die in an astounding number of films, in this one manages to die eight times. He is excellent in each and every incarnation of a member of the D'Ascoyne family. Valerie Hobson is as elegant as always in playing the widow of one his victims with whom he later becomes romantically involved. Hobson was a great light of British cinema in the forties and early fifties, but gave up acting to marry politician John Profumo, who would be the principal public figure to fall in the Christine Keeler scandal. The film also features one of my all time favorite actresses, Joan Greenwood, who may have possessed the most delicious voice of any female in the history of film. Mention must also be made of Miles Malleson, who has a small but memorable role as the hangman.The makers of the film manage a perfect concoction of highbrow wit that still managed to border on the absurd. For instance, at one point Mr. Mazzini informs a victim that he will first kill him and then run screaming for help, and then we manage to see him doing precisely that, running from the woods crying for assistance. There are many marvelous lines, many of them almost throwaways. As a fan of Samuel Johnson, I was delighted when Mazzini tells someone, "Dr. Johnson was right, as he always was . . . " In particular, I love the understated humor throughout the film. If this were a TV show instead of a film, I am certain that they would have dispensed of the laugh track. Before someone complains about the DVD not offering a widescreen option, I should point out that the original was a 35MM print in 1.37:1 ratio. In other words, this will of necessity be a full screen DVD, and there will never be a widescreen."
THE comic masterpiece.
Robert Moore | 10/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film belongs in my top ten list, and is my favourite comedy. Dennis Price is very much the center of this film as an angry and avenging "gentleman" with aspirations to kill his way to a Dukedom. Yet with such lines as "revenge is a dish best served cold", or "I shot an arrow in the air - she fell to earth in Berkeley Square!", we cannot help but laugh at his deadpan matter-of-factness in his flash-back narration. His motivations are based on the neglect of his mother by her family for marrying "beneath" her, and by the initial rejection of his proposal of marriage by the delicious Joan Greenwood as the somewat amoral Sibella. Alec Guiness plays the various victims with a brilliant feeling for each, and yet we can also see them as intentional caricature - particularly the Vicar. The plot then takes some unexpected twists and turns before a wonderful "oh-no!" ending. Finally, the script-writing is superb! Rarely is the English Language so well served in ANY film. Fortunately, they kept the original ambiguous ending, rather than the US release, where it was mandated that the film remove any doubts about his being brough to justice.
The film is black and white, and not DVD subtitled, but it is closed-captioned. In any case, for the US audience, the British accents (particularly Price's) are generally easy to follow. The DVD resolution, contrast and video noise levels are quite good. Sound is par for a 1950 release."
Black Comedy Heaven
R. Kobert | Miami, FL United States | 08/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I consider this one of the finest, most enjoyable films of all time, and probably the second best comedy of all time (only the great Dr. Strangelove can top it, I submit). This film simply defines black comedy -- that most delicious form of the genre -- and when considering the time of its creation, in the glum early cold war paranoiac late '40s, it must be considered a miracle of cinema. Told in the deadest of deadpan styles, with marvelous performances by Dennis Price and the immortal Alec Guiness (in 8 roles!), it continually horrifies while amusing, as all black comedy must. Time hasn't dimmed its luster one jot. If you haven't seen this gem, run -- don't walk -- to own it and enjoy it over and over again."