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The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 284 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

When the king is drugged and abducted by his ambitious brother, a lookalike relative must take his place to keep the evil sibling off the throne.

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(novel), (scenario), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)

The Prisoner of Zenda (1922) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lewis Stone ...
...
Robert Edeson ...
Stuart Holmes ...
...
Rupert of Hentzau (as Ramon Samaniegos)
...
Malcolm McGregor ...
Edward Connelly ...
Marshal von Strakencz
Lois Lee ...
Countess Helga
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Storyline

When the king is drugged and abducted by his ambitious brother, a lookalike relative must take his place to keep the evil sibling off the throne.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

11 September 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Gefangene von Zenda  »

Box Office

Budget:

$323,062 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) |

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A musical version of the novel, called "Princess Flavia," opened in New York City, New York, USA on 2 November 1925 and had 153 performances. The music was by Sigmund Romberg, and Douglass Dumbrille was in the cast. See more »

Goofs

During the climactic fight scene, a stool is kicked over twice. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Prisoner of Zenda (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Zenda
Music and Lyrics by Louis Breau and Ernst Luz
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An early version of a great story--but not the earliest.
14 April 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Prisoner of Zenda" has been filmed about a dozen times. It's a VERY familiar story to anyone who loves old films. When I heard about this 1922 version coming on Turner Classic Movies, I at first thought it was the original one, though it turns out there was an even earlier version in 1913! Regardless, I was thrilled to finally see a silent version of a story I have long loved. So is this one as wonderful at the 1937 Ronald Colman version? Well, not exactly--but it sure was close.

Another surprise about this one is that is starred Lewis Stone--a guy I'd hardly think of as an action hero! This is the bald Judge Hardy...playing a handsome king! Looking at Stone's hair in the film, I assume he was wearing a wig, as he had A LOT of hair! But he was also quite good in the dual roles of King Rupert as well as his English cousin. Oddly, however, while Stone clearly is THE leading man, Ramon Navarro got top billing--which makes little sense as he's a relatively minor character. No, this is definitely Stone's film.

As far as the plot goes, it's pretty much the familiar story. The new king, Rudolf, is about to be crowned leader of Ruritania. However, his evil but popular brother, Michael, has plans of usurping the throne. First, he drugs Rudolf so he cannot attend the coronation. BUT, coincidentally, a distant cousin is at hand and poses as the king. However, this won't deter Michael, as he's discovered the real king and has taken him prisoner. So, you KNOW another attempt will soon be made on the pretend king's life. Can the evil Michael and his nasty henchmen be defeated? This is a lovingly made silent--with terrific sets and wonderful acting. I particularly loved the king's beloved #1 man--he had such wonderful and soulful eyes. And something unique to the film I really liked--the deadly river and how it plays into the film. Overall, a great silent--and a film that only barely was eclipsed by the great 1937 version (this film is just perfect).

Note: After the FIRST guy gets pulled over the deadly falls, the print's quality degrades VERY quickly. It is very fuzzy and could really use additional restoration.


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