Sunday, August 11, 2013

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Today's movie is Kind Hearts and Coronets, which is a very dry, dark comedy.  It's very dry, like gin dry.  I don't think I've ever used gin to describe a movie, but this is perfect.  It's also dark because it involves the main character murdering a bunch of people, albeit in hilarious ways.

I often enjoy watching crime-related comedies, but what is so special about this one?  Overall, it's a pretty dull comedy.  The best reason to watch this is because Alec Guinness plays all eight members of the D'Ascoyne family!  He plays the banker, the parson, the duke, Lady Agatha, the admiral, and two other young members of the family.

Alec Guinness as every member of the D'Ascoyne family

The main story is about Louis, whose mother comes from a long line of dukes.  She is cruelly abandoned by her family because she chose to marry for love.  She was even denied the right to be buried near her family.  Louis swears revenge by becoming the next duke himself.  The problem is he's 8th in line so he figures that killing them all off is his best bet.

The upper class is often made fun of in this movie, while Louis' actions are never condemned.  He is blamed for the suicide of Sibella's husband, but that's only because she hid the suicide note and tried to blackmail him.  I believe she is the worst character in the movie.  She refuses to marry Louis and marries another man solely because of his wealth.  She later constantly brings her marriage problems to Louis.  Then, once he becomes a duke, she blackmails him into leaving his new fiance and marrying her.  She is everything that is wrong in their society.

Overall, the movie is not fall-out-of-your-chair funny, but it does have its moments.  It also pokes fun at upper class people in a sly way.  I will give it a 7/10.

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