IMDb > The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)
The Prisoner of Zenda
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The Prisoner of Zenda (1952) More at IMDbPro »

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The Prisoner of Zenda -- Trailer for this epic adventure film


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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
John L. Balderston (screenplay) and
Noel Langley (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Prisoner of Zenda on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 November 1952 (USA) See more »
A Swashbuckling Adventure In The Grand Style!
An Englishman vacationing in a Ruritarian kingdom is recruited to impersonate his cousin, the soon-to-be-crowned king when the monarch is drugged and kidnapped. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
Average Technicolor remake of a 1937 classic...the fight scenes are a big improvement here... See more (37 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Stewart Granger ... Rudolf Rassendyll / King Rudolf V

Deborah Kerr ... Princess Flavia

Louis Calhern ... Col. Zapt

Jane Greer ... Antoinette de Mauban
Lewis Stone ... The Cardinal
Robert Douglas ... Michael, Duke of Strelsau
Robert Coote ... Fritz von Tarlenheim
Peter Brocco ... Johann
Francis Pierlot ... Josef

James Mason ... Rupert of Hentzau
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jay Adler ... Customs Officer (uncredited)
Eric Alden ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Guy Bellis ... Chamberlain (uncredited)
Emilie Cabanne ... Lady with the Cardinal (uncredited)
Mary Carroll ... German Wife (uncredited)

Kathleen Freeman ... Gertrud Holf (uncredited)
John Goldsworthy ... Archbishop (uncredited)
William Hazel ... Aide (uncredited)
Thomas Browne Henry ... Detchard (uncredited)
George J. Lewis ... Uhlan Guard at Hunting Lodge (uncredited)
Doris Lloyd ... Lady Topham (uncredited)
Stanley Logan ... Lord Topham (uncredited)
Peter Mamakos ... De Gautet - Conspirator (uncredited)
Paul Marion ... Uhlan Guard at Hunting Lodge (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell ... Nobleman (uncredited)
Joseph Mell ... Railroad Guard (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Dignitary (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Nobleman (uncredited)
Bruce Payne ... Chamberlain (uncredited)
Alex Pope ... German Husband (uncredited)
Hugh Prosser ... Uhlan Guard at Hunting Lodge (uncredited)
Gordon Richards ... Dignitary (uncredited)
Stephen Roberts ... Albert von Lauengram (uncredited)
Victor Romito ... Aide (uncredited)
Elizabeth Slifer ... Woman (uncredited)
George Slocum ... Vendor (uncredited)
Michael Vallon ... Passport Official (uncredited)
Peter J. Votrian ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Charles Watts ... The Porter (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Bersonin (uncredited)
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Directed by
Richard Thorpe 
Writing credits
John L. Balderston (screenplay) and
Noel Langley (screenplay)

Wells Root (adaptation)

Anthony Hope (novel "The Prisoner of Zenda")

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

Donald Ogden Stewart  additional dialogue (originally uncredited)

Produced by
Pandro S. Berman .... producer
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
Cinematography by
Joseph Ruttenberg 
Film Editing by
George Boemler 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Hans Peters 
Set Decoration by
Richard Pefferle 
Edwin B. Willis 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes)
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup creator
Production Management
Dave Friedman .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sid Sidman .... assistant director
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
Richard Newcombe .... special effects (uncredited)
Jean Heremans .... fencing master (uncredited)
Music Department
Conrad Salinger .... music adaptor: Alfred Newman's 1937 score
Alex Alexander .... musician: cello (uncredited)
Jakob Gimpel .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Johnny Green .... conductor (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Albert Sendrey .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Si Zentner .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Other crew
Robert Brower .... technicolor color consultant
Henri Jaffa .... technicolor color consultant
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1953) | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #15979)

Did You Know?

This version's music score is an adaptation of the one composed by Alfred Newman for the 1937 version.See more »
Errors in geography: In the opening shot of the movie, showing a train labeled "The Orient Express," there are a couple of very, very tall, California-type palm trees in the background.See more »
King Rudolf V:You're a good fellow. Oh, you're English, but you're a good fellow.See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)See more »


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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Average Technicolor remake of a 1937 classic...the fight scenes are a big improvement here..., 25 October 2006
Author: Peter Andres from Petersburg, Vasaria

The 1937 film version, produced by David Selznick and starring Ronald Colman as Rudolf Rassendyll/King Rudolf V, Madeline Carroll as Princess Flavia, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as the villainous Rupert of Hentzau, is an escapist fantasy adventure classic in many respects. It's one of my all-time favorite stories and one of my favorite films to enjoy whenever I'm bored. Besides, the film inspired me to create written adventures of my own imaginary European country as a high school student.

Many years later the MGM studios decided to produce a Technicolor remake of the 1937 film. In few elements, such as in the production values and action scenes, it's an improvement. In most elements it's not.

Here we have a scene-for-scene remake that's virtually identical (even in the camera angles, dialog, and stirring music score by Alfred Newman) to the 1937 film except for the casting. And the casting is the weakest flaw here. Apart from Jane Greer in the Mary Astor role, we have Stewart Granger who has the required athleticism but lacks Ronald Colman's urbane panache in order to act regal. Deborah Kerr's Princess Flavia is a one-dimensional character here. The love scenes and chemistry between Granger and Kerr seems forced and unconvincing. The suave James Mason lacks Douglas Fairbank's young, devilish charm as Rupert of Hentzau, which made Fairbanks so enjoyable to watch in the 1937 version. The supporting characters, Colonel Zapt (Louis Calhern) and Fritz (Robert Coote), are reduced to mere puppets here and lack the buddy charm that C. Aubrey Smith and David Niven contained in the 1937 version.

Even worse, MGM contract director Richard Thorpe captained the film. Being an average director who always relied on shooting as few takes as possible and caring little for artistic temperament or actors' performances, his vast film work was only average and mostly unsatisfactory. He was never one of my favorite classic film directors.

However, it is the magnificent Technicolor production design, as well as the improved final duel between Rassendyll and Rupert, that makes the remake worth watching. Thanks to the bright lighting required for shooting in Technicolor, the night scenes are easier to watch this time. Even better, the exciting final duel is much more elaborately and imaginatively staged this time, while the two opponents in the 1937 version only looked as if they were fencing someone off-camera in close-ups and relying on stunt men in their long shots. Next to THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940), and THE SEA HAWK (1940), this one ranks as one of my favorite film duels. However, despite the extravagant settings, the period look goes a little too far...the men smoke ladies' cigarettes and in two scenes Granger wears the most effeminate fur overcoat I've ever seen!

A beautiful Technicolor production and an awesome duel scene within...but after watching this version it's like you've just ate a slice of French silk chocolate pie, which is rich and filling but lacks the substance and nutritional value of a healthier dark chocolate bar.

Stick to the 1937 version, please.

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Special effects rokrox
Was there a sequel with the Mason character? solarblast
Shall we imagine of a remake project? ar0221
Stop - Start Scene nevilleestepona
Deborah Kerr dlevy1201
Parallels with The Man in the Iron Mask Metro2-328-101452
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