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Kind Hearts and Coronets - Preview

Kind Hearts & Coronets

Preview by Jack Foley

PERHAPS the most perfect of all the Golden-Age Ealing comedies, Kind Hearts and Coronets famously featured Alec Guinness in eight different roles as the unsuspecting members of the aristocratic D’Ascoyne family – bumped off one by one by the scheming, outcast cousin of the family: Louis Mazzini.

Mazzini’s mother was a D’Ascoyne by birth, but she ran away with an opera singer and was ostracized by her family as a result.

When her dying wish to be buried in the family crypt is refused, Louis vows to get his revenge. As he ascends the social ranks, he is torn between his love for now-married childhood sweetheart, and equally devilish Sibella (Joan Greenwood), and the saintly wife of one of his victims, Edith D’Ascoyne (Valerie Hobson).

Dennis Price’s stunning performance as the ambitious Louis has always been somewhat overshadowed by Guinness, so sit back and admire anew the coolly detached relish with which he dispatches the eight relatives standing between himself, the Dukedom, and revenge.

The film featured stunning and inventive cinematography by Douglas Slocombe, and a groundbreaking first-person narrative that, legend has it, inspired Scorsese to make use of the same device in Goodfellas.

Kind Hearts and Coronets was re-released in cinemas on August 19 and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on September 5, 2011.

Extras: Audio Commentary with Peter Bradshaw, Terence Davies & Matthew Guinness, John Landis Introduction, Dennis Price: Those British Faces, BBC Radio 3 Essay, Alternative American Ending, Restoration Comparison, Behind the Scenes, Stills Gallery, Excerpt from BECTU Interview with Douglas Slocombe, Trailer.

Win Kind Hearts and Coronets on Blu-ray

To celebrate the release of Kind Hearts and Coronets on Blu-ray on September 5, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies. Simply answer the following question…

Q. Who plays the devilish Sibella in Kind Hearts and Coronets?

Simply send the answer to Kind Hearts Coronets competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email