Kind Hearts and Coronets

Kind Hearts and Coronets

DVD - 2002
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"Sir Alec Guinness performs as eight different characters in this classic. Edwardian gentleman Louis Mazzini plots to avenge his mother's death by seizing the dukedom of the aristocratic d'Ascoyne family. But to gain this inheritance, Mazzini must first murder the line of eccentric relatives [all portrayed by Guinness] who stand between him and the title ... leading to one of the most delicious final twists in comedy history."--Container

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7duffy Aug 18, 2015

Wow - an extremely well done film. Watching the film reminded me of reading Dickens or Hemingway, it went slowly, but when I was finished , I felt it was well worth the time. The movie's pace is slow, but the acting and direction is strong. Clearly this is Alec Guinness' "Tour-de-Force", as he plays all 8 characters of a family (including women), 10 years before Peter Sellers did the same thing. A prior reader perfectly described the story: "Imagine an Agatha Christie novel written by Oscar Wilde ". A long wait at the library, but worth waiting for. An unknown classic to me, so I enjoyed it even more.

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Nursebob
Jan 27, 2015

Imagine an Agatha Christie novel written by Oscar Wilde and you’ll get some idea of what to expect from this highly entertaining satire on the skewed morality of Britain’s landed gentry. A young man, distant heir to a vast estate, barely ekes out a living doing menial jobs. His wealthy relatives have effectively denied him his rightful place in the family due to the fact his father was a “commoner”. Obsessed with revenge he plans to get even with all involved by claiming the title of Duke for himself....even if he has to murder everyone that stands between him and his goal. As each one of his relatives dies mysteriously his station in life rises accordingly until he finally has the family estate within his grasp. We know things don’t go exactly as planned however since, from the outset, we realize the entire film is being told in flashback on the eve of his execution. To say more would be a disservice to anyone wishing to experience this brilliant film for the first time. The script displays a savage wit that the actors are more than capable of delivering, Alec Guiness is especially good as he plays every member of the doomed D’Ascoyne clan, and the wonderfully ambivalent ending had us laughing out loud. Great fun!

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amethyst9
Jan 25, 2012

Be sure to watch the interview with Alec Guiness! (from 1977, right after Star Wars was released)

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