(1949)4.5Richard GilliamKind Hearts and Coronets is an elegant black comedy that is perhaps too much remembered for the gimmick of having Alec Guinness play eight different murder victims and too little remembered for the fine performance of Dennis Price as the murderer. One of several comedy classics of the post-WWII era from Ealing Studios, the film is both ironic and bitingly funny. While the ending of the British version leads the audience to believe that Price will escape punishment for his crimes, American censors insisted that the criminal had to be punished for U.S. distribution, and so a less amusing ending was tacked on for the benefit of overly sensitive Yanks. Also of note is Joan Greenwood's performance as the murderer's childhood friend Sibella. Ealing was often an underfunded studio, so the production values are modest, though adequate. If there is an area in which the tech credits shine, it is the make-up and costuming of Guinness.