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The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)

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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 675 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

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 »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)

The Prisoner of Zenda (1979) on IMDb 4.9/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lynne Frederick ...
General Sapt
The Countess
The Count
Norman Rossington ...
Graham Stark ...
Michael Balfour ...
Arthur Howard ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Comedy


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 August 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Prisoner of Zenda  »

Box Office


$12,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first screen version of "The Prisoner of Zenda" made as a comedy though the TV show The DuPont Show of the Month: The Prisoner of Zenda (1961) is also humor. See more »


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 »


Version of The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Very funny and great entertainment for all ages
12 January 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This must be one of his best movies. The movie was made on location in Austria. The Castle in Vienna is the real Schoenbrunn castle where the empire of the Habsburg monarchy ruled for almost a 1000 years. The sets are original and outstanding. Peter Sellers played a double role where he plays a London cab driver (coachman) Sydney Frewin who is a look a like of the crown prince Rudolf of Rurotania who's brother wants to get rid of him and take on the crown himself after the death of their father. The movie starts when the King dies celebrating his 80tiest birthday in a balloon. When he accidentally punctures his balloon with a cork from his Champaign bottle, plummets to the ground, his balloon gets tangled up onto a tree in a village square and then he finally falls into the well below while giving a speech to the locals from the tree in the balloon. Crown prince Rudolf's spends most of his time in the London Saloons but he must return to Rurtania where his life is in danger. The London cab driver, Sydney Freud is accidentally discovered as look a like by the crown princes assistant and send ahead to Rurotania as a decoy. Sydney Freud is unaware of the real reason why he was offered a good position in Rurotania till he arrives there. Prince Rudolf has an affair with a beautiful countess. When her husband the count discovers this he is also after the crown prince. As the real prince gets kidnapped, Sydney takes his place till the real prince can be recovered. Sydney can not understand at first why the count is always after him wanting to slit his throat.. There is too much to tell but the movie has a happy ending where Sydney Frewin becomes the King and the princess gets the man she really loves. The real crown prince Rudolf goes back to London this time as Sydney Freud where he does what he loves best. Visiting the London gambling clubs and maintaining his affair with the countess. Great family entertainment! The only bad thing about this movie is that it's not available.

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