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The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)

Anthony Hope's classic tale gets a decidedly 'un-classic' treatment at the hands of Peter Sellers. Following the story somewhat, friends of the new King Rudolph of Ruritania fear for his ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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General Sapt
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The Countess
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The Count
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...
Antoinette
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Fritz
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Bruno
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Archbishop
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Erik
Michael Balfour ...
Luger
Arthur Howard ...
Deacon
...
Johann
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Storyline

Anthony Hope's classic tale gets a decidedly 'un-classic' treatment at the hands of Peter Sellers. Following the story somewhat, friends of the new King Rudolph of Ruritania fear for his life, and switch him with a look-a-like London cabby. Throw in two(!) lovely blondes, treachery, and a battle for life and honour, and enjoy life at its zaniest. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 August 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Prisioneiro de Zenda  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Sellers, known for playing multiple parts in a film, plays three roles in this movie: London taxi-driver Sydney Frewin, King Rudolph IV, and King Rudolph V (The Prisoner of Zenda). See more »

Quotes

Rudolf IV: Michael, why do you hate me so?
Duke Michael: Because you are conceited, arrogant, spineless, selfish, shallow, pity, pompous and pitiful!
Rudolf IV: But apart from that?
See more »

Connections

Version of The Prisoner of Zenda (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unimpressive
8 May 2003 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I`m not very familiar with THE PRISONER OF ZENDA . I know it`s a novel by Anthony Hope that involves an English commoner who so resembles the King of Rurtinia so much that he becomes a stand in , I know that Robert Donat starred in a well regarded film version , and that the 1978 DOCTOR WHO story The Andriods Of Tara was based on Hope`s novel . That was all I really knew as I sat down to watch this comedy version of the story

I was totally unimpressed , not by the bare bones of the story but by the obvious fact that there`s no laughs in this alleged comedy . I can`t think of one moment when I cracked a smile never mind burst out laughing . In fact about half way through all the evidence points that writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais just gave up attempting to make lame jokes and just wrote a traditional version of the story . But my major gripe is with director Richard Quine who spent twelve and a half million dollars on this movie which looks like it has a budget less than a tenth of that sum . All the interior sets look totally cheap and fake and there`s an action sequence involving a stage coach which is laughably bad . The whole sequence is shot at ground level to disguise the fact that the coach isn`t moving more than 10 mph , cut to some abysmal back screen projection with Peter Sellers wrestling with one of the bad guys , then cut back again to an exterior shot of the 10mph coach with all the characters looking away from screen so you won`t notice the characters are played by stuntmen . I wasn`t fooled by this type of sequence in James Bond films from the 1980s and I wasn`t fooled here


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