198 Great Directors: Robert Hamer

“It became evident that we had a subject with most agreeable possibilities. What were the possibilities that thus presented themselves? Firstly, that of making a film not noticeably similar to any previously made in the English language. Secondly, that of using the English language, which I love, in a more varied, and, to me, more interesting way than I had previously had the chance of doing in a film. Thirdly, that of making a picture which paid no regard whatever to established, though not practiced, moral convention.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Kind Hearts and Coronets.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: KHAC.

What Did I Watch: KHAC since I’d last seen it over a decade ago.

Where Does He Fit: My first viewing of Kind Hearts and Coronets in what I’m fairly sure was about a decade proved productive in recognizing that it’s a very good film that falls a bit short of greatness, simply because there’s so many ways in which it could be improved. The omnipresent voiceover is too much, the fact that all the members of the family are cartoons is funny (the Aunt Agatha sequence is unimprovable) but the only sympathetic one being indirectly killed via a heart attack lets the protagonist off scot-free, and I can’t help but feel there was a really good missed opportunity for a gag involving him turning into Alec Guinness (who is phenomenal in all eight parts, of course) once he succeeded in his aims. Ah well, still pretty brilliant.


Most Valuable Asset: Darkness is funny.
Most Excited For: It Always Rains on Sunday.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Nah. Doesn’t seem to have enough good stuff.

Coming Up Next: Don Siegel, pulp master.


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