Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Director: Robert Hamer

Writers:Roy Horniman, Robert Hamer, John Dighton

Composer: Ernest Irving

Starring: Dennis Price, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, Alec Guinness, Audrey Fildes, Miles Malleson, Clive Morton, John Penrose, Cecil Ramage, Hugh Griffith, John Salew, Eric Messiter, Lyn Evans, Barbara Leake, Peggy Ann Clifford, Anne Valery, Arthur Lowe

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He chopped down the family tree...

Plot: A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

I've seen this before and I think I dug it more then.  The acting is strong.  The writing is strong.  Hell, just about every aspect of this works as it should.  It's just not that funny which is odd because it's a comedy.  Maybe I just wasn't in the mood last night but I was only mildly amused.  The deaths were cute because most of them ended with a 'thud' but that was about it.  I like how you initially like Louis (Price) only to hate him by the end.  It's silly and playful at first as he plots and murders the members of the family that stand in his way of his royal title but as the film wears on he becomes more and more despicable, especially in the manner he treats the two women in his life.  Alec Guinness is fun and I enjoyed some of his 8 characters.  I love British humor, A LOT, but this one just didn't bring the laughs this time.  The Anchor Bay DVD has only a trailer for an extra.  I was hoping for a commentary as that would be something I could really sink my teeth into.   For a film that was once #6 on the BFI's top comedy list, I don't understand their thinking much like the AFI's placement of TOOTSIE (1982) as the number one comedy of all time.  It's not THAT funny.  Here's a drinking game for this one.  Take a drink every time someone says D'Ascoyne and you'll be sloshed in minutes.

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