IMDb > The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
The Prisoner of Zenda
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The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   2,882 votes »
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Down 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Anthony Hope (celebrated novel)
John L. Balderston (screen play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Prisoner of Zenda on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 September 1937 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The most thrilling swordfight ever filmed... See more »
Plot:
An Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(24 articles)
User Reviews:
A Delightful Classic Adventure See more (40 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ronald Colman ... Major Rudolf Rassendyll / The Prisoner of Zenda

Madeleine Carroll ... Princess Flavia

C. Aubrey Smith ... Colonel Zapt

Raymond Massey ... Black Michael

Mary Astor ... Antoinette de Mauban

David Niven ... Fritz von Tarlenheim

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Rupert of Hentzau
Montagu Love ... Detchard
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)
Wilhelm von Brincken ... Krafstein
Evelyn Beresford ... Lady Topham (uncredited)
Ricardo Lord Cezon ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Spencer Charters ... Railroad Porter (uncredited)
Sally Conlin ... (uncredited)
D'Arcy Corrigan ... Traveler (uncredited)
Bonnie Gaye Cowen ... (uncredited)
Alexander D'Arcy ... De Gautet (uncredited)
Billy Diamond ... (uncredited)
Ralph Faulkner ... Bersonin (uncredited)
Billy Finnegan ... (uncredited)
Byron Foulger ... Johann (uncredited)
Charles K. French ... Bishop (uncredited)
Otto Fries ... Luggage Officer (uncredited)

Lawrence Grant ... Marshal Strakencz (uncredited)
Charles Halton ... Passport Officer (uncredited)
Lillian Harmer ... Traveler (uncredited)

Darryl Hickman ... (uncredited)
Boyd Irwin ... Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)
Emmett King ... Lord High Chamberlain (uncredited)
Howard Lang ... Josef (uncredited)
Ian Maclaren ... Cardinal (uncredited)
Marilyn Marlin ... (uncredited)
Dickie Meyers ... (uncredited)
June Parkes ... (uncredited)
Alexander Pollard ... Court Officer (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Traveler (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... Man with Female Traveler (uncredited)
Al Shean ... Orchestra Leader (uncredited)
Leslie Sketchley ... Guard at Lodge (uncredited)
Pat Somerset ... Guard at Lodge (uncredited)
Ben Webster ... Lord Topham (uncredited)

Directed by
John Cromwell 
W.S. Van Dyke (reshoots) (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Anthony Hope (celebrated novel)

John L. Balderston (screen play)

Edward E. Rose (dramatization) (as Edward Rose)

Wells Root (adaptation)

Donald Ogden Stewart (additional dialogue)

Ben Hecht  uncredited
Sidney Howard  uncredited

Produced by
David O. Selznick .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe (photography)
Bert Glennon (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
James E. Newcom (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Costume Design by
Ernest Dryden (costumes) (as Ernst Dryden)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fred Spencer .... assistant director (as Frederick A. Spencer)
George Cukor .... director: reshoots (uncredited)
W.S. Van Dyke .... director, fencing sequences (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Casey Roberts .... interior decoration
 
Sound Department
Oscar Lagerstrom .... recorder
 
Special Effects by
Jack Cosgrove .... special effects
John M. Nickolaus .... special effects (uncredited)
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Fred Cavens .... fencing stunts
Ralph Faulkner .... fencing double (uncredited)
Jean Heremans .... fencing master (uncredited)
Dick Simmons .... stunt double: Ronald Colman (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Hal C. Kern .... supervising film editor
 
Music Department
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... musical director (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Ivar Enhörning .... technical advisor (as Colonel Ivar Enhorning)
Prince Sigvard Bernadotte .... technical advisor
William H. Wright .... assistant to producer
Russell Birdwell .... publicity chief (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
101 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1938) | USA:Approved (PCA #3356) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The original New York production of The Prisoner of Zenda opened at the Lyceum Theater on September 4, 1895.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Colman's hairstyle changes during the scene on the terrace with Madeleine Carroll. In the brief dialogue with Aubrey Smith, his hair is longer and swept back. Presumably this part of the scene had to be re-shot a few weeks later.See more »
Quotes:
King:Well, what are you doing here, cousin?
Rudolph Rassendyll:I must admit, Sire, that I may have been guilty of somewhat the same offense as our mutual ancestor.
King:Such as what?
Rudolph Rassendyll:Fishing in forbidden waters.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Op.314See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
A Delightful Classic Adventure, 14 May 2011
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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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