Parents' Guide to

Kind Hearts and Coronets

By M. Faust, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

A comedic gem featuring the incomparable Sir Alec Guinness.

Movie NR 1950 106 minutes
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The comedy is delightfully dry and understated, and the various murders are depicted with a touch of silliness. A film like KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS could only come from England; of course, this is partly because the plot depends on a peerage system that doesn't exist many other places. But more important, the stodgy system of ancient families provides a perfect backdrop for the ironic humor. Each of the victims is played by the wonderful Sir Alec Guinness, who proves that he can convincing create characters wordlessly. He's especially funny as a doddering old parson and as Lady Agatha, the family's suffragette.


Of course, none of these qualities makes Kind Hearts and Coronets interesting or appropriate for children. Carried almost completely by dialogue, the black-and-white film is occasionally underlit, lacks music, and is paced slowly. Teen anglophiles may enjoy it; otherwise, this is a pleasure best left for adulthood.

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