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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:
...
...
...
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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Rupert of Hentzau
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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:

Der Gefangene von Zenda  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,425,315, 28 May 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,425,315, 28 May 1979
See more on IMDbPro »

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

The movie's horse mounted fight sequences utilized riders and horses especially imported from Spain as those of Andalusian heritage were of the finest thoroughbred. 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 (1915) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Appalling in the extreme
15 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

The 1979 remake of Hope's Zenda story is a prime example of the sort of poor judgement Peter Sellers was so often subject to in his choice of films. The whole thing is roundly dispiriting to watch, and "palpably uneasy" as Halliwell's Film Guide comments. The script lacks any sense of the comic or adventurous that one would expect of a Zenda filming with Sellers. So often, exaggeration and chatter take the place of any sort of acting. Even Sellers, often impressive in such bad films, creates two very uninteresting characters, based it seems, solely on the rather stereotypical voices he creates for them. Other performances pass by, indistinguishable from each other and unwanted. John Laurie has nothing to do whatsoever, the token females are particularly dull... the whole thing is completely pointless and all too far from being enjoyable... Most certainly as bad, if not worse than the more derided "The Fiendish Plot of Fu Manchu". Rating:- */*****


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