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  1. #81
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    I was reading Britmovie's information on Kind Hearts and Coronets and it described an ending that was added to the American version. I've seen that movie repeatedly on television, the first time maybe forty years ago, and never have seen the added American ending. Has anyone seen the ending where the authorities have the manuscript?

  2. #82
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will.15
    I was reading Britmovie's information on Kind Hearts and Coronets and it described an ending that was added to the American version. I've seen that movie repeatedly on television, the first time maybe forty years ago, and never have seen the added American ending. Has anyone seen the ending where the authorities have the manuscript?
    I have - it's on the Criterion edition. It's a little unnecessary.

  3. #83
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    One of my favorites of course - many time over but one strange thing about this film is the character of Dennis Price, one instinctively cheers for him to succeed, and this is usual with film crime for some odd reason, yet by the end of the film is is clearly a most unlovable of characters with no principles and deserves to hang.

  4. #84
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett
    I have - it's on the Criterion edition. It's a little unnecessary.
    Thanks for the information. It seems a bit odd that the version that has been shown on American television as far back as the 1960's is the original ending. It's okay with me. I assumed when watching it he was in big trouble leaving that behind. He's just going to turn around and ask to be let back in?

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook
    Dennis was the star. He had top billing. Alec Guinness only got 4th billing.

    But a lot of people are so impressed by Alec's ability to dress up that they neglect Dennis' superior performance.

    Steve
    Sense.



    Price was the vehicle and the intended recipient of the accolades, and he produced - in spades - me 1950 album had him and Joan Greenwood as the "Stars". Can't remember if it was Picturgoer or Picture Play - Guiness was the jack of all trades in that film. Much like Sellers was early in his career. Not the star, not the 'stealer' but the professional 'jack of all trades.'



    Barry Norman is a w@nker. [imo] Anyone who quotes him is doing a disservise to criticism and critical faculties.He might have impressed dis-interested bosses at the BBC with his contacts and Dad's info, but as perception and awareness....lets get real.

    He thought Guiness "stole"



    What did he steal ?



    The story, ability through make up?



    Guiness was terrific, but he was supporting a person who went from light to dark, (and always remaining darkat the base of his delivery), in a character that we had absolutely no reason to support. The fact that we did has to do with the words and Price's incredible walking of that thin line.



    This was Price's film and Greenwood's best.



    ( I have been told that she regarded it as her easiest, no fuss no worry- " I just did myself ")(I can't prove that because it was one of the things I was told in the 60s/70s but I believed it then because it had no value in gossip, just a casual remark by my landlady - York Street W1 - who worked with everyone from Ealing to Victor Mature) (Wait until I get an opening for him :banana)




    But, objectively, who is the "Big Star" nowadays from that film ?

    Guinness - right?



    Who knows Dennis or Joan outside of this forum amd and few other places?



    So who is going to query the w@nkercrit Norman ?




    Worse, who is going to use him as an example of intelligent criticism ?



    He was cr@p on Film 1970 to Film 2010, and so is Ross.



    Jeez but I need a sleep.

  6. #86
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Nothing to see here...except my PC going crazy

  7. #87
    Senior Member Country: Australia
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    Louis Mazzini: I couldn't help feeling that even Sibella's capacity for lying was going to be taxed to the utmost. Time had brought me revenge on Lionel, and as the Italian proverb says, revenge is a dish which people of taste prefer to eat cold.



    Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) - IMDb Memorable quotes



    (Taking the lazy way out .....)

  8. #88
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Kind Hearts and Coronets: from 'antisemitic' novel to classic film



    The 60th anniversary of Robert Hamer's Ealing classic Kind Hearts and Coronets is the perfect time to get acquainted with the witty, provocative book on which it is based







    Kind Hearts and Coronets is the elegant black comedy about a suburban draper's assistant, Louis Mazzini, played by Dennis Price, who by a quirk of fate is distantly in line to a dukedom and sets out to murder every single nobleman and noblewoman ahead of him in the succession so that he can get his hands on the ermine. All the members of this complacent family are famously played by Alec Guinness in various guises, and this multi-performance is superbly detailed and differentiated: not a pantomime dressing-up turn, but an inspired tour de force, as if eight different excellent actors from the same family had somehow been brought to the screen.



    It is based on a very interesting book: a 1907 novel called Israel Rank, by the Edwardian actor-manager and author Roy Horniman � a work which since 1949 has attained a kind of cult fascination by virtue of being, until very recently, obscure and almost impossible to find.



    The Daily Telegraph journalist Simon Heffer, with enormous energy and resourcefulness, tracked down a copy, wrote about the book's importance, and it is Mr Heffer who has the distinction of having single-handedly retrieved this novel from oblivion. It is witty, tremendously written and a real page-turner, and is now republished as a print-on-demand item from Faber Finds, with an introductory essay online by Heffer.



    However, the weird samizdat aura still surrounds the novel by virtue of the strange copy-editing slips that speckle almost every single page of this new edition.



    There is a very specific reason why Israel Rank has been shrouded in reticence and unspoken embarrassment. In the movie, Dennis Price's social-climbing serial killer was supposed to be half-Italian: in the book he is a Jew, whose first name speaks for itself and whose second name hints punningly at social hierarchy but also, unquestionably, at a bad smell.



    The adaptation's change � which of course arguably offends Italians � could be read as a tacit admission that one of our greatest films is taken from a dubious source, and that there is something questionable about the idea of a Jew (actually his father is a Jew, his mother a Christian) insinuating himself into the intimate friendship of the English nobility, and then murdering them, his cunningly concealed ambition feeding parasitically off the dead bodies of these aristocrats. The most deliriously inspired homicide � which is not used in the movie � is Israel's murder of a baby boy by wiping the infant's face with a handkerchief impregnated with the spores of scarlet fever. That comes really very close to the ancient blood libel.



    So is Israel Rank the most obviously antisemitic novel of modern times? Simon Heffer argues forcefully that it in fact satirises antisemitism, daringly conjuring up the antisemite's most paranoid fantasies, though in doing so "skirts dangerous territory, and possibly even wades into it". This I think is true, and I think Horniman is also, specifically, satirising English attitudes to the career of Benjamin Disraeli: his wicked antihero at one stage relaxes with a copy of Disraeli's novel Vivian Gray. In its dreary suburban setting, it is also a premonition of the work of Patrick Hamilton.



    No lover of the film will want to remain in ignorance of this book; reading it, while imagining Dennis Price's musical voice in your head, is like having access to a delicious deleted scene. But it also has the unfortunate effect of smudging what I can only describe as the film's innocence, if a film about an unrepentant serial killer can be described in this way. The original is, arguably, chancy and provocative in a way that the film isn't. Offensiveness has a certain worrying potency.



    Set against this is the fact that the changes made by Hamer and dramatist John Dighton immeasurably improve the book. The murders onscreen have a cantering gaiety and narrative momentum which Horniman lacks. The book has an unwieldy third love-interest for the protagonist, a woman whose abject love for him creates the plot twist which saves Rank from the gallows. But Hamer and Dighton stick to just two women in Louis's life � Sibella and Edith � creating a simpler dilemma which is far more satisfying. Finally, Hamer and Dighton come up with a completely original final act, devising an irony by which Louis is arrested for the one murder he never commits: this is a masterpiece of suspense, much better than Israel Rank's final anticlimactic and implausible sloppiness.



    Most importantly, removing the "Jewish" part of the book makes it a universal story. Kind Hearts and Coronets is a brilliant satirical parable for career ambition: anyone who has ever yearned enviously for a certain job or position � and tormented himself with those people ahead of them in the pecking order � will recognise and perhaps secretly admire Louis for his criminal daring. Israel Rank was a minor classic for its time; Kind Hearts and Coronets is a still major classic right now.

  9. #89
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    Reading the above post, clearly Kind Hearts and Coronets is one of the few films that immensely improved on the novel it was based on. Some years ago I heard on public radio a British adaptation of the story. It was a direct adaptation of the movie. Is there another novel that was the basis of a classic movie that's become so forgotten and obscure?

  10. #90
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Interesting question. I don't suppose many people have the read the novels that The Man in Grey and The Wicked Lady are based on. Or the magazine short stories that spawned Night Train to Munich and Saturday Night Fever. But it's true that Israel Rank is hard to get, presumably because it's not a reputation for anti-semitism (possibly unfounded according to some accounts but then I've not actaully read it)

  11. #91
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    The novel is probaby not the work of an anti-semite, but back then people who did not regard themselves as prejudiced still had views we today would regard as not politically correct and the novel probably reflects that.

  12. #92
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    As I say, I haven't read it, but it does sound a little suspect though maybe the author claimed it was an anti-anti-semitic book? For those interested, it was reprinted recently


    Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal: Amazon.co.uk: Roy Horniman: Books

  13. #93
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett
    I have - it's on the Criterion edition. It's a little unnecessary.
    Would you say the Criterion Edition is the best one to get? Are Criterion good in general?

  14. #94
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    Criterion isn't cheap and out of my budget. But they're regarded as more than just good, hence the price.



    Thanks, Captain. I'm going to get that book.

  15. #95
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowdon
    Would you say the Criterion Edition is the best one to get? Are Criterion good in general?
    Check out the website to see the list of extras. They usually are the best, especially when it's a 2-dvd package but it's always worth checking what the extras are as sometimes they aren't too brilliant (for example The Importance of Being Earnest is simply a fancy new print ). The very best, IMO, is Crook's Tour where you get a free copy of The Lady Vanishes thrown in

  16. #96
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    Yes, I saw the great extras with "Hearts" and "Billy Liar", but I just wanted to check that the quality was good and the ratio 'correct' and so on. After all ... 32 dollars ...

  17. #97
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    The print of Kind Hearts is very good but no better than the freebie I got with A Certain National Newspaper, IMO. I know nothing of ratios though. Most Criterion films can be found cheaper elsewhere if you aren't bothered by the extras - and it's worth trying other sites or eBay for them as the Criterion site isn't always the cheapest place to get them

  18. #98
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    OK - thanks for that. I also have 'Kind Hearts" and "Billy Liar" on freebies which are fine. But I thought about getting the Billy Liar for the extras, and "Kind Hearts" for the American ending. Or I could save money if you just tell me what that ending is!

  19. #99
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowdon
    OK - thanks for that. I also have 'Kind Hearts" and "Billy Liar" on freebies which are fine. But I thought about getting the Billy Liar for the extras, and "Kind Hearts" for the American ending. Or I could save money if you just tell me what that ending is!
    Well, the exchange rate being what it is ... there's a rather clunky scene where a warder brings the memoirs to Governor Clive Morton who looks through it and realises the significance. I think he might ask for the Home Secretary on the phone or something like that. It's a bit unnecessary...The documentary is good though probably not worth buying the dvd just for that

  20. #100
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for that, Captain. I don't think I'll get it, then.



    So, basically, the American studio thought that people wouldn't 'get' that he had written his own signed confession? It had to be spelt out?

    Or did they just want to clarify that he didn't turn around and say "Sorry - forgot my gloves." or something, and nip back in?



    When I first saw this that ending was thrilling - in part because you can say to each other "If I were him, I would simply turn around ..." "But that wouldn't work because ..." and so on. Tacking that bit on the end is tantamount to being a killjoy. Very silly.



    Do I owe you 32 dollars now?

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