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The Prisoner of Swing (1938)

Approved  |   |  Short, Adventure, Comedy  |  11 June 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 50 users  
Reviews: 5 user

Musical satire based on Anthony Hope's Ruritanian novel "The Prisoner of Zenda" in which a commoner takes the place of a lookalike king.


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Title: The Prisoner of Swing (1938)

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Complete credited cast:
Hal Le Roy ...
Rudolph, King of Sulvania / Mr. Razzenstill
Eddie Foy Jr. ...
Al Fields ...
Percy Helton ...
Bruce Evans
Ruth Dryden ...
The Debutantes ...
Palace Singers (as Lester Cole Singers)
Gae Foster Girls ...
Palace Dancers (as The Gae Foster Girls)


Mr. Razzenstill, a saxophonist and dancer who specializes in swing music, comes to the kingdom of Sulvania looking for a job. Unbeknownst to him, he looks exactly like King Rudolph. At a ball to celebrate his upcoming coronation, Rudolph declares that swing music will be outlawed once he is crowned. The king is kidnapped by swing music lovers, and the look-alike takes the king's place. Written by David Glagovsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

11 June 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1937-1938 season) #12: The Prisoner of Swing  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels B108-B109. See more »


Rudolph, King of Sulvania: Pardon me, my good woman. I'm here for the saxophone season. Can you tell me if there's any swinging going on here?
See more »


Spoofs The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) See more »


The Lady Who Couldn't Be Kissed
Music by Harry Warren
Played when the woman enters after the shave
See more »

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User Reviews

Swinging on a Star
21 August 2007 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Hal Le Roy in a dual role - he's a swinging saxophonist Mr. Razzenstill on his way to the country of Sulvania. There, he discovers he is a distant cousin to the country's Prince Rudolph. The prince hates Swing music, and declares that, after his coronation, the music will be banned. Swing lovers swap the identical Le Roys - and, Rudolph is thrown in his dungeon. Will he escape?

The film is far too dependent on the films it spoofs ("The Prisoner of Zenda"). Given that, you can't follow the story; for example, why does Razzenstill decide to try and rescue Rudolph? June Allyson is the princess who seems to fall in love with the other man; it's an interesting, but unresolved, subplot. "The Prisoner of Swing" highlight is Le Roy's expert tap dancing performance following the scene with Ms. Allyson.

** The Prisoner of Swing (6/11/38) Roy Mack ~ Hal Le Roy, June Allyson, Eddie Foy Jr.

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