The best films of this genre always show a path and provide a takeaway for being a better person.
The joyful confection is coated in a sparkly gloss, bright enough to gleam from the darkest, most cynical corners.
The acting in this movie is really good.
The movie's neither hopeful in contrived ways, nor hopeless in different contrived ways. Somehow it manages to be wonderful
A simply wonderful black as midnight comedy! The wit and irony run strong in this, it's truly fantastic. It's near perfection, from the clever and sharp dialogue to the masterfully crafted chain of circumstances that drives the plot. Alec Guinness plays eight quite different roles, and deserves an extra mention, but really there is no weak link in the cast. If you are a fan of black comedies, then this is a mandatory viewing!
I love this movie. Very dry wit. Very classically British. If you are looking for a film that can stand on its script instead of special effects, give this one a try. Guinness does a wonderful job of playing all the protagonists in this film. Plot, of course, has a very interesting twist at the end. I recommend you see this!
In the hours before his execution for murder, Louis, the 10th Duke of Chalfont, writes his memoirs. In them he details how, though descended from nobility, he grew up poor and had to pull himself up by his bootstraps, career-wise. Then, discovering that only eight members of the D'Ascoyne family stood between him and the dukedom, he systematically started killing them, making the murders look like accidents.Interesting, intriguing crime drama, with a dry, dark humour about it. The whole sequence of events leading up to and including Louis knocking off the claimants to the dukedom makes for compelling viewing. Quirkily funny at times too.More than just a crime drama, the movie also pokes fun at England's class and peerage system. You can well imagine that someone would go to such lengths for a title and the wealth and other benefits it bestows.Solid work by Dennis Price as Louis. Standout performance(s), however, goes to Alec Guiness who plays all eight members of the D'Ascoyne family! Good support from Valerie Hobson and Joan Greenwood.
KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS is one of those classics that never ages, even after repeated viewings. The rags-to-riches tale of Louis D'Ascoyne (Dennis Price), who ascends from lowly shop-worker to the dukedom through a series of brutal murders, is told in low-key fashion, as Louis spends his last night on earth prior to his execution. Price's soft-voiced, understated method of delivery makes the film sound as if murder is a normal occurrence; the kind of thing anyone might do if they wanted to acquire power. But this is director Robert Hamer's point; in an unequal world dedicated to privilege and high birth, even the most mild-mannered personality might be tempted to step the wrong side of the tracks.With consciously shadowy photography (by Douglas Slocombe) and ingenious set-designs (William Kelner), Hamer's film created a claustrophobic world, in which the lower middle classes (represented by Louis) are doomed to live in over-stuffed living-rooms and work in fusty shops, while the upper classes live in high ceilinged, paneled castles full of dusty furniture. No one, it seems, enjoys any real comfort. Hence the only way to survive is to adopt the "every person for themselves" philosophy, which is precisely what Louis decides to do. The film is very much of its time, released and shot in the post-war era, when aristocratic privilege seemed an anachronism, redolent of a bygone age.Price's performance contrasts starkly with that of Joan Greenwood's Sibella - whose honeyed tones suggest willing connivance in his schemes yet turn out to be nothing more than a facade. Like Louis, she is out for what she can get and will employ every stratagem at her disposal to achieve it.At the film's center stands Alec Guinness, in a virtuoso performance of eight different roles. Some of them are no more than cameos, but his portrayal of Young Henry as an open-hearted, basically kind person stands out in a corrupt world. Sadly Henry lacks the guile and the nous to survive, and he is soon dispatched to a better place, much to Louis' mock-regret.The film ends with a classic cameo by Arthur Lowe (later to become a household name in the television series DAD'S ARMY) as a reporter who unwittingly seals Louis' fate, proving beyond doubt that it's best to remain silent about one's past if one wants to survive.