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The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)

When the king is drugged and abducted by his ambitious brother, a lookalike relative must take his place to keep the evil sibling off the throne.


Rex Ingram


Anthony Hope (novel), Mary O'Hara (written for the screen by)

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Complete credited cast:
Lewis Stone ... Rudolf Rassendyll / King Rudolf
Alice Terry ... Princess Flavia
Robert Edeson ... Colonel Zapt
Stuart Holmes ... Grand Duke 'Black' Michael
Ramon Novarro ... Rupert of Hentzau (as Ramon Samaniegos)
Barbara La Marr ... Antoinette de Mauban
Malcolm McGregor ... Captain Fritz von Tarlenheim
Edward Connelly ... Marshal von Strakencz
Lois Lee ... Countess Helga
John George ... Dwarf-Assassin
Snitz Edwards ... Josef
Fairfax Burger Fairfax Burger ... Bersonin (as Fairfax Burgher)
S.E. Jennings S.E. Jennings ... De Gautet (as Al Jennings)


Upon the death of his father the King, Rudolph V is set to assume the throne of Ruritania. Both he and his half-brother, Grand Duke Michael, love Princess Flavia, their orphaned cousin who lives in a wing of the palace located in the Ruritanian capital of Strelsau. While half the populace favor the King and the other half the Grand Duke, the entire populace loves Flavia. She is attracted to the Grand Duke's magnetism, but she, in a sense of obligation to her country to support his reign, believes that she will marry the King despite she not being in love with him due to he indulging excessively in his vices, such as the drink, and thus often acting irresponsibly and not in the manner of a king. The Grand Duke, with his longtime faithful companions De Gautet, Bersonin, Detchard, and Rupert of Hentzau, plan to detain the King at the Grand Duke's hunting lodge on the grounds of his castle at Zenda on the day of the coronation so that Michael can assume the throne in Strelsau in his place... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 September 1922 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A zendai fogoly See more »


Box Office


$323,062 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print) |

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The TCM print is principally derived from the UK re-release, in which Ramon Novarro, who had by that time become a major player as a result of his work in this film, in the supporting role of Rupert of Hentzau, was now given first billing above that of the originally top billed Lewis Stone, who plays the title role. See more »


During the climactic fight scene, a stool is kicked over twice. See more »


Rudolf Rassendyll: While you're unhung, Hentzau, hell lacks its master!
See more »


Referenced in The Power of the Press (1928) See more »


Music and Lyrics by Louis Breau and Ernst Luz
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User Reviews

Evil Ramon sparks disappointing Ingram film.
20 November 1999 | by David AtfieldSee all my reviews

Rex Ingram was one of the great visual stylists of the silent cinema, but his version of "The Prisoner of Zenda" is a little slow and ponderous and visually not as interesting as other Ingram films. But it's still pretty good with strong performances from Ingram's wife Alice Terry and the marvellous Lewis Stone. Although Ramon Novarro has top billing, Stone actually has the lead role - Ramon's role is a supporting one - an evil nobleman. But he is splendid - darkly handsome with a little beard and a monocle - and convincingly evil. It is interesting to see him before he became type-cast as the energetic sweet boy - he shows here that he had more range as an actor than he was allowed to show.

The entire supporting cast is excellent and, although the sets are ordinary, the costumes are very fine. I expected more from Ingram, but this film is still worthwhile. Does anyone know if the Ingram - Novarro "Scaramouche" is still in existence?

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