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The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  3 September 1937 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,017 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 7 critic

An Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(celebrated novel), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Title: The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Montagu Love ...
Philip Sleeman ...
Albert von Lauengram
Eleanor Wesselhoeft ...
Frau Holf - Cook
Florence Roberts ...
Duenna (scenes deleted)
Torben Meyer ...
Max - Butler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur Byron ...
(scenes deleted)
Francis Ford ...
(scenes deleted)
Margaret Tallichet ...
(scenes deleted)
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Storyline

This is a classic swashbuckler. Rudolph Rassendyll, Rudolf V's identical distant cousin, is asked to risk his life and impersonate the would-be king when his relative is kidnapped before his impending coronation. If Rudolf V isn't present at the ceremony, he will forfeit the crown to his younger brother. Complications ensue when Princess Flavia, the cousin's betrothed, begins to notice a "personality change" in her fiancé. Written by Albert Sanchez Moreno <a.moreno@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most thrilling swordfight ever filmed... See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 September 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Gefangene von Zenda  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer David O. Selznick was unsatisfied with the action scenes in the film, particularly the fencing, so he brought in directors W.S. Van Dyke and George Cukor to reshoot them after principal photography was finished. See more »

Goofs

The sword fight in the castle of Zenda between Coleman and one of the king's guards appears to be with rapiers, however when the fight is picked up again in the outside room the rapiers have become sabers - necessary in order to cut the rope of the drawbridge. See more »

Quotes

Rudolph Rassendyll: But I've reformed.
Princess Flavia: Almost beyond recognition. You seem to be an entirely different person.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in So You Want to Be in Pictures (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Op.314
(1866) (uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauß
Whistled by Wilhelm von Brincken
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Delightful Classic Adventure
14 May 2011 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In the end of the Nineteenth Century, the Englishman Major Rudolf Rassendyll (Ronald Colman) travels to the Province of Zenda to spend a couple of days fishing at the Royal Game Preserve. He meets King Rudolf V (Ronald Colman), whose coronation will happen on the next day, riding with his loyal Colonel Zapt (C. Aubrey Smith) and Captain Fritz von Tarlenheim (David Niven) and they all become astonished with the resemblance of Rassendyll and Rudolf V. They conclude that they might be distant cousins and the King invites the newcomer to drink wine in his castle. King Rudolf is an alcoholic and drinks too much; however, he is drugged by his brother Michael (Raymond Massey) and Rudolf V is no able to participate at the ceremony of coronation. Colonel Zapt and Captain Fritz asks Rassendyll to impersonate Rudolf V, otherwise his greedy brother would take his place and be crowned king. Rassendyll accepts to participate in the fraud but when he meets King's Rudolf V fiancée, the Princess Flavia (Madeleine Carroll) of the Royal House Court of Strelsau, the immediately fall in love for each other.

Meanwhile, the evil and ambitious Rupert of Hentzau (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) abducts Rudolf V and brings him to the dungeons of his castle. However, Michael's mistress Antoinette de Mauban (Mary Astor) secretly summons Rassendyll to her Boulevard Elsberg and proposes to help him to rescue the King. In return, Michael would be exiled without any other additional punishment. Rassendyll accepts to risk his life trying to save Rudolf V, even knowing that his love with Princess Flavia would be affected by his action.

"The Prisoner of Zenda" is one of the most delightful classic adventures of cinema industry. The performances and the ironic and witty dialogs are awesome and unfortunately this type of film is innocent film that is hardly made by the studios. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "O Prisioneiro de Zenda" ("The Prisoner of Zenda")


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