Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

 

Kind Hearts and Coronets poster- two ladies wearing extravagant hats, with a man behind bars behind them. Kind Hearts and Coronets is written on a poster behind them

Kind Hearts and Coronets © Eagle-Lion Films

Director:Robert Hamer

Writers: Robert Hamer

Starring: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, Hugh Griffith

Production Company:  Ealing Studios, Michael Balcon Productions

Kent Locations: Leeds Castle, Harrietsham, Boughton Monchelsea

Kind Hearts and Coronets is based on the novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman which tells the story of Louis Mazzini, an aristocrat descendent  who sets out to murder eight D’Ascoynes family heirs in order to become the Duke.

The film has become a timeless classic, being regarded as one of best British films of all time. It has been included in both Time magazine and the BFI top 100 British films of all time.

Eight of the D’Ascoynes, are played by the legendary Alec Guiness who are one by one they are murdered in a variety of ways from poisoning to drowning and even exploding.

Leeds Castle doubled as Chalfont Castle, the D’Ascoynes family home. Located on the outskirts of Maidstone,  Leeds Castle was built as a Norman stronghold and became the home of royalty, including Henry VIII when he visited Kent. Surrounded by a mote and 500 acres of gardens, the Castle became a monument to the Tudor era and a popular tourist destination.  It has previously been used for productions such as Lady Jane (1987).

The film also shot outside The Cock Inn pub in Boughton Monchelsea village for the scene where Louis (Dennis Price) takes photos and meets Henry (Alec Guinness). The village is on the outskirts of Maidstone and contains an array of urban and rural land and historic features including a church built in 1100 and a 16th century manor house.

Harrietsham village was also used for the scene where Louis (Dennis Price) rides around the village. Harrietsham is a  rural village to the east of Maidstone and  has many Grade I listed buildings including The Old House and Saxon Church of St John the Baptist.  

Kind Hearts and Coronets was released in 1969 and is now available on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.