My 150 Favorite Movies - #20
The title comes from a line in a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "kind hearts are more than coronets, and simple faith than Norman blood." This black comedy, arguably the best comedy out of Ealing Studios (which also included The Ladykillers and The Lavender Hill Mob), takes it's plot from an obscure novel titled Israel Rank: the Autobiography of a criminal, originally published in 1907, and which also served as the inspiration for the Broadway play, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. The story concerns a plot by an obscure relation to kill off all members of an aristocratic family who are standing between him and the dukedom, in order to avenge his mother's being disowned by them. Although that may not sound comedic, it is widely regarded to be a comedy classic especially since all eight family members, are played by the inestimable Alec Guinness. Dennis Price stars as the hapless murderer, along with Joan Greenwood and Valerie Hobson as his comely love interests.