Dennis Price is sublime as an embittered young commoner determined to avenge his mother’s unjust disinheritance by ascending to her family’s dukedom in one of Ealing Studios’ greatest triumphs, and one of the most wickedly black comedies ever made.
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Comedy-of-manners as utterly brutal satire, like a box wrapped in lace ribbon with a scorpion inside. The main character is a sociopath, but also the creation of a rigid, humiliating class system, and thus his target is a family of aristocrats so inbred that they could all be played by Alec Guinness. Accidentally, its unflinching take on English nativism makes it horrifyingly ideal on the eve of a possible Brexit.
A darkly fanciful comedy that gallantly glows with wit and charm throughout. Two outstanding performances make the film a truly memorable occasion. Alec Guinness famously plays eight different characters facing all facing a sticky end, while Deenis Price channels Wilde and Poe as a conniving, noble lead. Dryly hilarious and cleverly designed make Kind Hearts an English comedy classic.
Alec Guinness might take most of the plaudits for his extraordinary multi-tasking performance(s) but Dennis Price's cold and admirably heartless performance is one of the unsung acting displays of its time. Wonderfully cynical and refreshingly harsh even to this day.