Film Reviews, News & Competitions

 
 


Kind Hearts & Coronets

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: The poor relative wealthy duke, plots to inherit the family title by murdering all the heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.
Release Date: Collector's edition blu-ray & DVD, 24th June.
Format: Blu-ray & DVD.
Director(s): Robert Hamer.
Cast: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson, Miles Malleson, Hugh Griffith.
BBFC Certificate: U.
Running Time: 104 mins.
Country Of Origin: UK.
Language: English.
Review By: Paula Hammond.
Genre:
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
5/ 5


 

Bottom Line


70 years on, StudioCanal’s crisp 4k restoration is the prefect gift to mark the film’s anniversary and the lasting legacy of the Ealing Comedy.


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Posted June 9, 2019 by

 
Film Review
 
 

Kind Hearts & Coronets is often cited as the perfect Ealing Comedy but it’s also the most atypical. Director Robert Hamer, who co-wrote much of the script, expressed his intention to make a film “not noticeably similar to any other made in the English language” which “paid no regard to established … moral convention”. And he succeeded in spades.

Alec Guinness—an Ealing Studios old boy—plays all eight of the abominable D’Ascoynes with undisguised relish. However, it’s Dennis Price who steals the film. Putting in an under-appreciated performance as the louche Mazzini, Price conjours up the type of anti-hero which would give Machiavelli a run for his money. Amoral, callous, calculating, but strangely hard to hate. Partly because his victims are so desperately deserving of the fate which befalls them, and partly because he has all the best lines. 

[SPOILERS] In Ealing, the villains never get away with it, but Kind Hearts stretches that convention too. After a last minute reprieve, Mazzini is freed, leaving his memoirs, confessing all, in his jail cell. Like The Italian Job the ending is left deliberately vague. He might, just might, get away with it. Interestingly when it was released in the US, American audiences were much less happy with this sort of moral ambiguity and an extra scene, showing the prison warder reading Mazzini’s ‘confession’ was added.

70 years on, StudioCanal’s crisp 4k restoration is the prefect gift to mark the film’s anniversary and the lasting legacy of the Ealing Comedy.


Paula Hammond - Features Editor

 
Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com


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