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The Prisoner (1955)

 -  Drama  -  11 December 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 474 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

A cardinal is arrested for treason against the state. As a prince of his church, and a popular hero of this people, for his resistance against the Nazis during the war and afterward his ... See full summary »



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Title: The Prisoner (1955)

The Prisoner (1955) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 5 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 4 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Wilfrid Lawson ...
The Jailer
Kenneth Griffith ...
The Secretary
Jeanette Sterke ...
The Girl
Ronald Lewis ...
The Guard
Raymond Huntley ...
The General
Mark Dignam ...
The Governor
Gerard Heinz ...
The Doctor


A cardinal is arrested for treason against the state. As a prince of his church, and a popular hero of this people, for his resistance against the Nazis during the war and afterward his resistance when his country again fell to a totalitarian conquerer. In prison, his interrogator is determined to get a confession of guilt against the state from the strong willed man, and thus destroy his power over his people. The verbal and psychological battles are gripping and powerful - not even the increasing pressures put upon the Cardinal can force him to weaken; not even solitary confinement, continuous blazing light in his cell, sleeplessness, efforts to persuade him he is going mad. And yet, in the deepening conflict, the superb indomitable prisoner, creates a tremendous pity on his tormentor, the interrogator. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two of the Finest Performances of All Time! See more »




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Release Date:

11 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Prisoner  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Deemed suitably controversial enough to be banned from both the Venice and Cannes Film Festivals. See more »


[the Cardinal is in solitary confinement for two months]
The Cardinal: How are you doing this to me? Why am I... going out of my mind?
The Jailer: Well, it's funny, you know. The more store a man sets by his wits, the sooner he loses them. When a man starts watching his mind at work, you can't leave him alone for five minutes without he frightens himself to death.
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Version of The Prisoner (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

A study of contrasts
7 June 2004 | by (Atwater, USA) – See all my reviews

This film makes a good marathon movie with other similar themes:

Inherit the wind The Prisoner TV series

It seems most movies are essentially epitomized by this film for this reason:

Persecution. Be it FOR religion or AGAINST religion. The protagonist/antagonist style which is predominant is EXPERTLY posed here with Alec Guinness playing another brilliant role. This character is the opposite of the character he played in "The man in the white suit" BUT the theme is similar.

In todays world the ethnicity is still a root persecution that leads to a lot of violence. This movie shows what should be avoided, but in recent news even the contrast in Iraq is highlighted within the controlled confines of a safe Movie environment. WE know the actors are compensated and safe... The stereotypes they portray seem to be Perennial and eternal...

The end line can be said of ANYONE anytime, anyplace, any age.

A timeless classic from a time when events moved slower. Todays movies move much faster which do not allow our children to absorb the real humanity pictures like these embody.

I am a more aware man for having seen this film, and it allows my to deal with bullies I have encountered in real life who on buses will try to play the inquisitor in a menacing fashion, even though here in America we are supposed to be free of this interaction.

There are classic interactions that are highlighted and should not be missed.

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