English trout fisher Rudolf Rassendyll is about the only tourist not coming for the coronation of Central-European King Rudolf V at Strelsau, but happens to be a distant relative and is approached on account of their canning resemblance to stand in for the drunken king, in order to prevent his envious half-brother Michael, who arranged spiking his wine to seize the throne when the reputedly less then dutiful Rudolf stays away. The ceremony goes well, and he gets acquainted with the charming royal bride, related princess Flavia, but afterward the king is found to be abducted; he must continue the charade and once the hiding place, the castle of Zenda, is found is involved in the fight between political parties for control over Rudolf V, his throne and his bride, for which a formidable third candidate, Michael's disloyal co-conspirator Rupert of Hentzau, was waiting in the curtains.Written by
The Ruritanian Royal Train seen briefly as Rassendyl and the others travel to Strelsau for the coronation is stock footage of the Salzkammergut Lokalbahn, a narrow-gauge railway in the Salzburg area of Austria, that closed in 1957. See more »
When Rudolf and Hentzlau are face to face, Hentzlau remarks that he left his dagger in Michael. Yet when they are fighting with sabers, Hentzlau draws a dagger from his belt sheath. See more »
The opening credits are listed on parchment or velum-looking pages. The top, blank page has a silver sword upon it, which is piercing the page. When lifted, the credits start on the page below. The pages are ornately done with colorful ink letters and designs. See more »
Colourful and entertaining version of the Ruritarian romance
This pales I think to the brilliant 1937 film, but this version is still very good. It is a little too short though and some of the exchanges of the dialogue lack the class and unique chemistry of the 1937 film. However, the colour, costumes and scenery are exquisite and the score is marvellous. The film goes at a good pace too and the romantic and exciting story never fails to engage, while the acting in general is very good. Stewart Granger is marvellous in his dashing and heroic dual role, and Deborah Kerr is ravishing as Princess Flavia. Jane Greer comes off even better, while James Mason is a menacing and somewhat austere Rupert and while his part is a little underwritten perhaps Robert Douglas is appropriately sinister as Michael. Overall, far from perfect, but worthy and colourful version. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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