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

Overview

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7.0/10   2,064 votes »
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Director:
Writers (WGA):
John L. Balderston (screenplay) and
Noel Langley (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Prisoner of Zenda on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 November 1952 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Swashbuckling Adventure In The Grand Style!
Plot:
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 »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
Something short of greatness See more (38 total) »

Cast

  (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
(WGA)
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 (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Boemler 
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Hans Peters 
 
Set Decoration by
Richard Pefferle (set decorations)
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles
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)
 
Stunts
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:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1953) | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #15979) | USA:Passed (The National Board of Review)

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:
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 »
Quotes:
Rudolf Rassendyll:I probably looked like a prize idiot and talked like one too.
Princess Flavia:You're too modest. You really looked and acted like a King today.
Rudolf Rassendyll:Oh, thank you.
Princess Flavia:It was delightfully unexpected.
Rudolf Rassendyll:Oh.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Royal Flash (1975)See more »

FAQ

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Something short of greatness, 13 February 2006
Author: Igenlode Wordsmith from England

On the face of it, "The Prisoner of Zenda" has everything a swashbuckler could require to make it a glorious success: a star-studded cast with previous form, Technicolour pageantry, MGM production values, an Alfred Newman score, a classic story of self-sacrificing heroism... not to mention a setting that's not only generically but genuinely Ruritanian! But on viewing it again after a lapse of some years, I find that it still doesn't work for me; and there doesn't seem to be any obvious reason why.

There were in fact *two* films released in 1952 starring Stewart Granger in sword-fighting heroics: one of them -- enchanting, bittersweet, dancing of wit and of blade, and featuring what was to become one of the most famous fight sequences in screen history -- was, of course, "Scaramouche". The other was "The Prisoner of Zenda"... and somehow, in every aspect that melded together to produce the classic that was its counterpart, it never quite catches up. Swashbucklers should spring lightly; this one has gloss, but a certain stilted air.

Stewart Granger differentiates his dual roles admirably, to the extent that I caught myself becoming sceptical as to the actual resemblance between the two supposed doubles! His final duel is as athletic as any in his screen career, although the plot demands dogged defence rather than flashing brilliance; indeed, the outcome is refreshingly unconventional. However, I didn't find Rudolf Rassendyll to be one of his more memorable characters.

It was James Mason, sporting an incongruous Prussian bullet-head haircut, who was the real disappointment for me. No stranger to charismatic villainy in the likes of "The Man in Grey", "Fanny by Gaslight" or "The Wicked Lady", he is here oddly lacking in Rupert of Hentzau's essential perverse charm, in what should have been a scene-stealing part. The other male characters are little more than one-dimensional down to Duke Michael's villainous limp, although Louis Calhern makes an upright Colonel Zapt.

The women fare better. Deborah Kerr is sweet, fiery and entirely convincing as Princess Flavia, next in line to the throne, and Jane Greer is more than equal to the pivotal role of Antoinette de Mauban, whose complex motives prove the key to the whole plot.

Ultimately, I found this a decent film, but not as outstanding as it should have been, given its constituent parts. It isn't the best work of any of the actors involved. I am reminded of Zoltan Korda's re-make of his own "Four Feathers" as the widescreen "Storm of the Nile": the story (and indeed in that case the script) is the same, but the spark is missing.

Given the parallels, I must admit that I'm now very curious as to how the 1937 "Prisoner of Zenda" -- which I've never seen -- stands up in comparison! This one is a plush literary adaptation, but lacks the rollicking rapier-edge of laughter and daring that characterise the great classics of its genre.

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