Random Film of the Week: Kind Hearts and Coronets

Kind Hearts and CoronetsDid Ealing Studios ever make a bad comedy? I’ve yet to see one, and the streak they were on brought some of the most memorable flicks to lucky audiences that are still great today. One of the best black comedies ever made and featuring Alec Guinness in an amazing eight roles, 1949’s Kind Hearts and Coronets is a truly classic film that’s still as effectively dryly hilarious and fun to watch as ever. If anyone tells you that movies with voice overs that spell things out are “bad” films, sit them down with this one and watch them choke on that thought as they die laughing.

The film manages to be great despite that running narration by its murderous lead character Louis Mazzini, the tenth Duke of Chalfont (Dennis Price) as he retells his family history and lays out how he’s dispatched the assorted surviving members of a wealthy family in a quest for revenge, a title and the affections of two ladies who drop in and out of his life. Granted, you’ll feel a lot more for Mazzini than you do for his victims in the D’Ascoyne family, most of whom seem somewhat deserving of their assorted fates…

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