7.1/10
696
18 user 16 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 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 

Last Holiday (1950)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When a lonely, unappreciated farm equipment salesman discovers he has only a few weeks to live, he withdraws his savings for a final holiday at a "posh" resort.

Director: Henry Cass
Stars: Alec Guinness, Beatrice Campbell, Kay Walsh
The Promoter (1952)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A charming and ambitious young man finds many ways to raise himself through the ranks in business and social standing, some honest, some not quite so. If he can just manage to avoid a ... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, Glynis Johns, Valerie Hobson
Drama | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A timid bank teller anticipates a bank robbery and steals the money himself before the crook arrives. When the sadistic crook realizes he's been fooled, he tracks down the teller and engages him in a cat-and-mouse chase for the cash.

Director: Daryl Duke
Stars: Elliott Gould, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York
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
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After a ski instructor catches her husband flirting with an old flame, she decides to pose as her (fictitious) twin sister in an attempt to keep him faithful.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Constance Bennett
Nightfall (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Through a series of bizarre coincidences, an artist finds himself falsely accused of bank robbery and murder and is pursued by the authorities and the real killers.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Aldo Ray, Anne Bancroft, Brian Keith
Christine (1937)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Christine, newly widowed and consumed by the memory of a ball she attended age 16, decides to track down the men she danced with that night and discover their fates.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Marie Bell, Françoise Rosay, Louis Jouvet
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Paris police detective Cassin has a well needed vacation at a rural inn, where the owners' adult daughter shows interest in him but she has a jealous boyfriend. Will Cassin need his skills?

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Steven Geray, Micheline Cheirel, Eugene Borden
Craig's Wife (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A domineering woman marries a wealthy man for his money, and then uses her position to further her own ambitions for money and power.

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Rosalind Russell, John Boles, Billie Burke
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The tenements are home to an international community, including the friends and family of a tough young ragamuffin named Annie Rooney, but their neighborhood may be threatened by a dangerous street gang.

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Mary Pickford, William Haines, Walter James
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man for the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
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
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:

Two of the Finest Performances of All Time! 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 Interrogator: Every living soul in that sleeping city down there could be broken, if they had to be. The softer the mind, the more sensitive the conscience, the more surely they must be broken. That's the fascination - and the pity of it.
See more »

Connections

Version of BBC Sunday-Night Play: The Prisoner (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
THE PRISONER (Peter Glenville, 1955) ***
11 April 2009 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Inspired by the plight of Catholic Cardinal Josef Mindszenty behind the Iron Curtain – already the subject of a worthwhile low-budget Hollywood film, GUILTY OF TREASON (1950; see above) – this prestigious British production (based on a Bridget Boland play, who adapts her own work for the screen) boasts two powerhouse performances by Alec Guinness (as the proud Prince of the Church) and Jack Hawkins (as the wily Interrogator). Their interaction is a beauty to behold and one cannot help but be reminded how these formidable actors had already worked together in, curiously enough, MALTA STORY (1953) and, of course, would go on to do so again under David Lean's Oscar-winning direction in THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962). Although much of the running time is devoted to their rigorous one-on-one sessions (enough for it to be deemed a two-hander), the film allows (at least) another fine actor to shine: Wilfred Lawson as Guinness' jailer who grows to respect his prisoner with time. The small cast also includes Kenneth Griffith as Hawkins' eager-to-learn subordinate – incidentally, the latter also appeared in two episodes of Patrick McGoohan's later cult TV series of the same name but which bore no relation to this movie! – and Raymond Huntley as Hawkins' impatient superior. Conversely, the romantic subplot between doubting Communist Ronald Lewis and his Catholic girlfriend Jeanette Sterke seems forced and intrusive – almost like an afterthought (whereas it had been far more effectively handled in the aforementioned Hollywood treatment). But, as I said before, the film's trump card is its gradual depiction of the evolving relationship between the two leads, which really has no equivalent in GUILTY OF TREASON (where Charles Bickford's tormentors were various and generally shrouded in darkness). Although the main characters and the setting remain unnamed throughout (lending it a pretentious air of political allegory also missing from the earlier film), the controversial subject of THE PRISONER got it banned from participating in both the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals – although it did get nominated for 5 BAFTAs and, eventually, won a couple of other international awards.


12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed