Road Rash Reviews

Kind Hearts and Coronets (Vintage Classics) 4k Review*****

Cert U | 106 mins | 1949

5 Star

Vengeance Eight-Fold

STUDIOCANAL brings us a true British classic with its new 4k release of the Ealing comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets. Directed by Robert Hamer (Dead of Night, It Always Rains on Sunday) and brought to life by the incomparable Alec Guinness (The Bridge on the River Kwai, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) playing the eight members of the fated D’Ascoyne Family, and the vengeful Dennis Price (The House in the Square, The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein). We are about to find out his life’s story.

Louis D’Ascoyne Mazzini (Dennis Price), 10th Duke of Chalfont, sits in his prison cell awaiting his execution in the morning, it is an unprecedented event, in the hanging of a Duke. With many hours to pass away, he decides to fill his time by writing his memoirs. His life should have been rosy and simple, but his mother (Audrey Fildes, While I Live) had gone with her heart and not who the family wanted. She married a penniless Italian opera singer, who sadly dies suddenly as Louis is born. Louis’s mother raises him on the history of her family and tells him how, unlike most other peerages, the dukedom of Chalfont can descend through female heirs. Despite his mother’s best efforts, she and Louis get no help from the family, not even when he is trying to find a job.

He ends up working as a milliner, that is until the philandering Ascoyne D’Ascoyne (Alec Guinness), the banker’s only child, that had refused to give Louis a job. With losing his job and his mother’s death, and the family refusing her request to be buried in the family plot, brings it all to a head and Louis decides enough is enough and that he will eliminate the eight heirs to the title of Duke of Chalfont, and take his rightful place as head of the family.

Now watch the story unfold in 4K, as Louis juggles his life, the women in his life (Valerie Hobson, Great Expectations, Bride of Frankenstein), (Joan Greenwood, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978), The Man in the White Suit) and the many ways to dispatch eight people and not get caught.

Kind Hearts and Coronets is a true Ealing classic British film, now brought up to 4K quality. It will please those that have seen it before and will delight new viewers.

The ‘Once More with Ealing’ season will see audience-favourites screening in cinemas, including KIND HEARTS & CORONETS, WHISKY GALORE! and PASSPORT TO PIMLICO, which all celebrate their 75th Anniversary this year.  STUDIOCANAL will also release KIND HEARTS & CORONETS on UHD for the first time on 22 April, and will have lesser-known Ealing dramas THE BELLS GO DOWN, CAGE OF GOLD and LEASE OF LIFE released on their Vintage Classics label later in the year.


released for the first time on UHD on 22 April


The stunning roster of incomparable VINTAGE CLASSICS titles includes outstanding thrillers, heart-rending masterworks, horror favourites, war dramas, Ealing comedies, and plenty of lesser-known gems. The collection boasts some of the greatest and most beloved stars of cinema including Alec Guinness, Julie Christie, Paul Robeson, Dirk Bogarde, Diana Dors, Richard Attenborough, Margaret Leighton, Terence Stamp and Jenny Agutter to name but a few, in films directed by auteurs such as David Lynch, John Schlesinger, Carol Reed, Roger Corman, Nic Roeg, and Joseph Losey. Prepare to reappraise underrated actors, box office bombs and overlooked directors, such as the incomparable Muriel Box, director of three films in the collection. 2024 sees the eagerly awaited new 4k restoration of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960), Ealing’s The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) in 4K, Carol Reed’s enchanting fable A Kid for Two Farthings (1955), the film that kick-started the British New Wave: Room at the Top (1959), Kenneth More as The Comedy Man and many more.


Special Features:

  • Once More with Ealing
  • John Landis introduction
  • Audio commentary with film critic Peter Bradshaw, director Terence Davies and Matthew Guinness
  • Audio Commentary with film writer and critic Kat Ellinger
  • Those British Faces: Dennis Price
  • Alternate US ending
  • BFI’s Introducing Ealing Studios
  • Behind the Scenes stills gallery
  • Costume stills gallery
  • Original trailer
  • 2019 Trailer
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DirectorRobert Hamer
GenreComedy, Crime
StarringDennis Price, Alec Guiness, Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson