Story of the far-removed heir to the Dukedom of Chalfont who disposes of all the obstacles to his accession to the title and subsequently finds himself tried for a murder of which he is innocent may appear to be somewhat banal. But translation to a screen comedy has been effected with a mature wit.

Story of the far-removed heir to the Dukedom of Chalfont who disposes of all the obstacles to his accession to the title and subsequently finds himself tried for a murder of which he is innocent may appear to be somewhat banal. But translation to a screen comedy has been effected with a mature wit.

Opening shot shows the arrival of the executioner at the prison announcing that this is his grand finale. Then the story is told in a constant flashback, recounting the methodical manner in which the one-time draper’s boy works his way up to the dukedom. In this role Dennis Price is in top form, giving a quiet, dignified and polished portrayal.

Greatest individual acting triumph, however, is scored by Alec Guinness who plays in turn all the members of the ancestral family.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

UK

Production

Ealing. Director Robert Hamer; Producer Michael Balcon; Screenplay Robert Hamer, John Dighton; Camera Douglas Slocombe, Jeff Seaholme; Editor Peter Tanner; Music Ernest Irving (dir.); Art Director William Kellner

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1949. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

Dennis Price Alec Guinness Valerie Hobson Joan Greenwood Miles Malleson Arthur Lowe
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