When Comedy goes Dark
January 29 KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949) 1 hr and 46 min.
In prison awaiting execution, Louis, the 10th Duke of Chalfont, sets down on paper the events that led him to his current situation. His mother has been banished from her family, the D’Ascoynes, after she married Louis’ father who was considered far beneath her. After her death, the D’Ascoynes refused permission for her to be buried in the family crypt. Louis then began to take revenge: to kill all those ahead of him in the succession until he became the Duke…
Alec Guinness played every member of the noble D'Ascoyne Family who appears in this film: the Duke, the Banker, the Parson, the General, the Admiral, Young Ascoyne, Young Henry, and Lady Agatha. He narrowly missed being drowned and carried off in a runaway hot-air balloon during filming, and sat for a portrait of a D’Ascoyne ancestor seen in the duchal castle. The scene where six D’Ascoynes are seen together took two days to film.