7.1/10
638
17 user 14 critic

The Prisoner (1955)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 December 1955 (USA)
A Cardinal is arrested for treason against the state. As a Prince of his church, and a popular hero of this people, for his resistance against the Nazis during the war, and afterward his ... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Glenville

Writers:

Bridget Boland (play), Bridget Boland (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 5 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Phantom Lady (1944)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A devoted secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather nosy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. 2 days later, she awakens - in a different house, ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Nina Foch, May Whitty, George Macready
The Possessed (1965)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A visitor arrives in a small Italian village looking for a woman. Residents tell him that she committed suicide but there's more to the mystery than they're letting on. Meanwhile, a strange woman walks by the lake.

Directors: Luigi Bazzoni, Franco Rossellini
Stars: Peter Baldwin, Salvo Randone, Valentina Cortese
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A triangle of friendship, love, sex, and, perhaps, murder. Minou is newly married to Peter, a businessman in debt as he works to bring a new product to market. They met through Dominique, ... See full summary »

Director: Luciano Ercoli
Stars: Dagmar Lassander, Pier Paolo Capponi, Simón Andreu
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An alcoholic journalist finds himself on the trail of a murderer after the police make him a suspect in their investigation.

Director: Luigi Bazzoni
Stars: Franco Nero, Silvia Monti, Wolfgang Preiss
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Diamonds in the night is the tense, brutal story of two Jewish boys who escape from a train transporting them from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately, they are hunted down by a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Nemec
Stars: Ladislav Jánsky, Antonín Kumbera, Ilse Bischofova
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Monsieur Feydeau has writer's block, and he needs a new play. But he takes an opportunity to observe the upper class of 1900 Paris, Monsieur Boniface with a domineering wife, and the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Gina Lollobrigida, Alec Guinness, Robert Morley
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In this classic adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, a tortured train engineer falls in love with a troubled married woman who has helped her husband commit a murder.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean Gabin, Julien Carette, Simone Simon
Term of Trial (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Graham Weir is an alcoholic schoolteacher whose criminal record for refusing to fight during World War II has prevented him from progressing further in his teaching career. He is looked ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Simone Signoret, Sarah Miles
The Comedians (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A cynical Welsh hotel owner secretly romances a diplomat's wife in Haiti, under the violent reign of the despot "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno
The Hidden (1987)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Law abiding people suddenly become violent criminals. A cop and an FBI agent race for answers in this sci-fi thriller.

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Alec Guinness ... The Cardinal
Jack Hawkins ... The Interrogator
Wilfrid Lawson ... The Jailer
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ... The Secretary
Jeanette Sterke ... The Girl
Ronald Lewis ... The Guard
Raymond Huntley ... The General
Mark Dignam ... The Governor
Gerard Heinz ... The Doctor
Edit

Storyline

A Cardinal is arrested for treason against the state. As a Prince of his church, and a popular hero of this people, for his resistance against the Nazis during the war, and afterward his resistance when his country again fell to another totalitarian conqueror. In prison, his interrogator is determined to get a confession of guilt against the state from the strong willed man, and thus destroy his power over his people. The verbal and psychological battles are gripping and powerful, not even the increasing pressures put upon the Cardinal can force him to weaken, not even solitary confinement, continuous blazing light in his cell, sleeplessness, efforts to persuade him he is going mad. And yet, in the deepening conflict, the superb indomitable prisoner, creates a tremendous pity on his tormentor, the interrogator. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Which One is the Prisoner? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Gefangene See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Deemed suitably controversial enough to be banned from both the Venice and Cannes Film Festivals. See more »

Goofs

When the teenager is writing in white chalk on the wall, the position of the words changes from one cut to the next. See more »

Quotes

The Jailer: They look different after a few months in solitary, don't they, sir?
See more »

Connections

Version of The Prisoner (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"The Result Of Human Weakness"
9 November 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Alec Guinness got to repeat one of the roles he did on the London stage with the screen adaption of Bridget Boland's The Prisoner which was directed by Peter Glenville who also did the original stage production. It was one of Guinness's personal favorites among his parts because of the Catholicism of the actor.

In fact the role really hit close, maybe too close to home, because like the character he plays in the film, Guinness was a child of a prostitute mother who escaped into acting as a refuge from a really bad childhood. Just as his character the Cardinal of an unnamed Balkan country now ruled by a Marxist dictatorship went into the church as a way of rising above the station he was born in life.

Jack Hawkins plays the state inquisitor, a psychologist by training who probes and finds the weakness in Guinness and uses it to get a confession of treason out of him. Pride and vanity are the trickiest of human sins, we're all guilty of it in one way or another.

In making this film Guinness, Boland, and Glenville were all adamant about keeping the main character Catholic and not some Christian preacher of an unnamed denomination as what the producers originally wanted to do, the better for a broader appeal they reasoned. Catholicism and the special burdens and duties it places on its clergy is precisely what makes the story valid.

According to a recent biography of Alec Guinness though it was never going to be anyone else but him in the role of the Cardinal, Noel Willman had done the inquisitor part on stage. Several people like John Gielgud and Peter Bull were considered for that part before Hawkins was signed for the role.

If the subject matter does seem familiar, the role is obviously modeled on Josef Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary. And director Peter Glenville would have his greatest screen triumph in Becket, the story of another troublesome priest several centuries earlier.

Guinness does lay bare his soul in this film. For fans of Alec Guinness this film is a must.


14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed