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 »
Owner of Zenda, Inc., a successful business empire, disappears. His son is about to inherit the company, but a kid who looks just like him takes over the young man's identity and the company. The "good" kid now must get his life back.
Richard Lee Jackson
My husband and I are great aficionados of this story, and we have every single version available (except the Peter Sellar's travesty) - and our only quibble is that he still thinks the Ronald Coleman version is the best, while I think *this* version is the best. But I admit that it's hardly fair to compare a black-and-white movie, with the necessary time constraints, to a color (gotta show that RED HAIR!) mini-series with a great deal more scope to develop the characters, etc.
I agree with the previous assessment of the British viewer about the cast, with the addition of saying that Victoria Weeks made a perfect Princess Flavia: a real grasp of the character as a person as well as a position - no cardboard/cookie cutter princess portrayal there. Malcolm Sinclair said that he felt it was rather obvious that he was very young and untried when he did the series, but I honestly can't see it.
Perhaps one of the best things about the series is the feel; contributed to by not just the setting - everything had the look and feel of a small country tucked away in the requisite Balkans - but the costumes as well were undeniably the best of any version made to date. People rarely think about costuming setting the mood, but with a period piece, it is crucial to get the clothes right, or no one buys that it's another time and place.
It's a crime, I tell you, a CRIME that the Beeb hasn't brought this out on video or DVD!!
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