7.7/10
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47 user 9 critic

The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 3 September 1937 (USA)
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) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Philip Sleeman ...
Albert von Lauengram
Eleanor Wesselhoeft ...
Frau Holf - Cook
Florence Roberts ...
Duenna (scenes deleted)
...
Max - Butler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
(scenes deleted)
...
(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 older half-brother. Complications ensue when Princess Flavia, the king's cousin and 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:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 20, 1949 with Ronald Colman reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

Princess Flavia gives Rassendyll a red rose in the garden. As it lies on a book a little while later, it is white. See more »

Quotes

Prologue: Toward the close of the last century, when History still wore a Rose, and Politics had not yet outgrown the waltz, a Great Royal Scandal was whispered about in the Anterooms of Europe. However true it was, any resemblance in "The Prisoner of Zenda" to Heroes, Villains, Heroines, living or dead, is coincidence not intended...
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Swashbucklers (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Artist's Life, Op.316
(1867) (uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
Played at the ball
Danced to by Ronald Colman and Madeleine Carroll
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A summary of the best movie of all time!
6 July 1999 | by (Massachusetts, USA) – See all my reviews

The Prisoner of Zenda, based somewhat obviously on Shakespeare's The Tempest, is a film that has something for everyone. There's action, adventure, romance, suspense, and swashbuckling. It's a historical film, and over the years hasn't really aged, so it remains fantastic 62 years later. The cast is first rate, especially because the male leads-Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and David Niven-are so handsome and talented, mainly Doug. In the best role of his career, he wields swords, cigarettes, and sticks with an airy sensuality and was deprived of a much-deserved Oscar nomination. The sets and costumes are so magnificently detailed, that you'll wish it was in color. And the script is perfect, with some very witty lines. And the musical score is excellent. Anyone who wants to see a movie with all the basic ingredients for 110 minutes of sheer entertainment should seek this one out.


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