Sam Mendes hosted a Grand Classics screening of “Kind Hearts and Coronets” at SoHo House Tuesday in Gotham, drawing a small scrum of actors, directors and fashion designers including Whit Stillman and Phillip Bloch.
After a few minor setbacks, including an irate party crasher and a film reel snafu, Mendes welcomed the crowd and introduced the 1949 film starring Dennis Price and Alec Guinness.
“It is certainly, in my opinion, the greatest English movie comedy about a serial killer, which these days would seem to be a bit eccentric,” he told the crowd. “It’s also a comedy about rebellion — a deeply cynical and amoral view of humankind — and yet it is gloriously funny and incredibly memorable.”
Mendes shared some praise with thesps in attendance.
“In this movie Alec Guinness plays eight different members of the same family–young men, old men, old women, young women,” he said. “It’s an incredible performance. Probably the only people I can think of these days who could do it are Alan Cumming and John Leguizamo.”