When his mother eloped with an Italian opera singer, Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) was cut off from her aristocratic family. After the family refuses to let her be buried in the family mausoleum, Louis avenges his mother’s death by attempting to murder every family member (all played by Alec Guinness) who stands between himself and the family fortune. But when he finds himself torn between his longtime love (Joan Greenwood) and the widow of one of his victims (Valerie Hobson), his plans go awry.
One of the finest British films ever made, this black comic masterpiece is a hilarious study in the gentle art of murder. Alec Guinness famously takes on eight different roles in the story of an ambitious young man who plots to secure a family fortune by creatively dispatching those ahead of him in the line of succession. One of the sharpest and subtlest comedies to come out of Ealing Studios, and arguably the greatest film it produced.
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