Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Film: Kind Hearts and Coronets (202/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

A quick aside: My film history teacher in college referred to this film, completely seriously, as Kind Hearts and Crumpets. I didn't have the heart to call him out in front of the whole class, but I remember turning to the person next to me and saying "No, that's not the name at all." He flubbed facts pretty regularly, but this was the funniest goof by far. I still crack up when I think of it, and refer to this film by that title to this day. Crumpets indeed, ha ha ha.

Anyway! When I first saw Kind Hearts and Crumpets Coronets, I really didn't like it. I was bored to tears. This time around, it definitely grew on me, and I could better appreciate the black comedy. This story of a man killing the heirs to a family fortune to avenge his outcast mother would be pretty bleak if not a comedy. The lead, Dennis Price, still seems so flat to me though. I don't mind his narration, but it seems to me that he should have a bit more charm, a twinkle in his eye. Something mischievous about him, perhaps. Instead he's so deadly serious the whole time. It makes Alec Guinness all the more dynamic in comparison, and not just because he's playing several members of the same family. His performances were a lot of fun to watch, and helped me better appreciate his performance in the ridiculous comedy Murder by Death (1976), in which Guinness acts as several different people back to back with no makeup or costume change whatsoever. Kind Hearts and Coronets is not a perfect film by any means, but I'm happy I was able to appreciate it more this time around. 

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