Anthony Hope's classic tale gets a decidedly 'un-classic' treatment at the hands of Peter Sellers. Following the story somewhat, friends of the new King Rudolph of Ruritania fear for his ... See full summary »
This is called the first Soviet science fiction film because of its "futuristic" sets on Mars, although most of it takes place in Moscow. The movie is set at the beginning of the NEP (New ... See full summary »
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 »
During the climactic fight scene, a stool is kicked over twice. See more »
English traveler and sportsman Lewis Stone (as Rudolf Rassendyll) decides to attend the coronation of distant relative "Rudolf V." of Ruritania (also Lewis Stone, in a dual role), after the recent death of the foreign land's King. But proposed King Stone has a wicked half-brother, who covets the title. Receiving most of his help from charismatic Ramon Novarro (as Rupert of Hentzau), treacherous brother Stuart Holmes (as Grand Duke Michael) plots to poison Mr. Stone and take his place on the throne. But, due to the royal Rudolf's fondness for alcohol, a switch is made. One who senses something rotten in Ruritania is beautiful Alice Terry (as Princess Flavia), who is expected to marry one, but falls in love with another...
"Towards the end of the day, when the soul is weary and the heart longs for its beloved"...
Anthony Hope's classic adventure story gets the MGM treatment, even though the studio mostly called "Metro" by insiders was only M-G- (no Mayer, yet) at the time. Metro's mega-hit "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (1921) director Rex Ingram and the principle players gathered here stuck with the company; helping set the standard for MGM productions, Metro/MGM competed successfully with older studios. This film advanced careers, most notably helping propel Mr. Novarro to "superstar" status. There are also fine impressions made by veteran Robert Edeson (as Colonel Sapt), bewitching Barbara La Marr (as Antoinette de Mauban) and debuting Malcolm McGregor (as Fritz von Tarlenheim)...
Notable re-makes in 1937 (all talking, with Ronald Colman) and 1952 (in color, with Stewart Granger) are worth seeking out in a "twofer" package from Warner/Turner. They should have added this 1922 version. It's still entertaining, due to swaggering action, good production values and captivating performances. This non-speaking "The Prisoner of Zenda" was the standard silent film era version. It was the #4 "Best Picture" of 1922 according to the annual "Film Daily" poll of critics. Rex Ingram, Lewis Stone, Alice Terry and Ramon Novarro received director and acting accolades. Stone, at his silent best here, essays a small part in the 1952 version; it was one of the last roles for the perennial Metro-contracted actor.
******** The Prisoner of Zenda (7/31/22) Rex Ingram ~ Lewis Stone, Alice Terry, Ramon Novarro, Malcolm McGregor
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?