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DVD: Kind Hearts and Coronets | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Kind Hearts and Coronets

DVD: Kind Hearts and Coronets

Ealing comedy classic is just as deliciously dark more than 60 years on

Dennis Price meets his executioner in 'Kind Hearts and Coronets'

Still disconcertingly dark, Robert Hamer’s 1949 classic receives a handsome remastering for this reissue. It’s still very, very funny, and the bleak tone sets it apart from the other Ealing comedies. Dennis Price oozes cool charm as Louis Mazzini, an Edwardian draper’s assistant plotting macabre, murderous revenge on the aristocratic family who ostracised his mother for marrying below her station. Price is in almost every scene, and his performance is a miracle of refined understatement. Every tiny gesture tells, and his first-person narrative still sounds fresh and innovative, ostensibly a reading of his confessional memoir penned in prison before execution. It’s compared by Peter Bradshaw on the audio commentary to Ray Liotta’s, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster...” from Scorsese’s Goodfellas.

Still disconcertingly dark, Robert Hamer’s 1949 classic receives a handsome remastering for this reissue. It’s still very, very funny, and the bleak tone sets it apart from the other Ealing comedies. Dennis Price oozes cool charm as Louis Mazzini, an Edwardian draper’s assistant plotting macabre, murderous revenge on the aristocratic family who ostracised his mother for marrying below her station. Price is in almost every scene, and his performance is a miracle of refined understatement. Every tiny gesture tells, and his first-person narrative still sounds fresh and innovative, ostensibly a reading of his confessional memoir penned in prison before execution. It’s compared by Peter Bradshaw on the audio commentary to Ray Liotta’s, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster...” from Scorsese’s Goodfellas.

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