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The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)

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 »

Director:

Richard Quine

Writers:

Dick Clement (screenplay), Ian La Frenais (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sellers ... Rudolf IV / Rudolf V / Syd Frewin
Lynne Frederick ... Princess Flavia
Lionel Jeffries ... General Sapt
Elke Sommer ... The Countess
Gregory Sierra ... The Count
Jeremy Kemp ... Duke Michael
Catherine Schell ... Antoinette
Simon Williams ... Fritz
Stuart Wilson ... Rupert of Hentzau
Norman Rossington ... Bruno
John Laurie ... Archbishop
Graham Stark ... Erik
Michael Balfour Michael Balfour ... Luger
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ... Deacon
Ian Abercrombie ... Johann
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Storyline

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 life, and switch him with a look-a-like London cabby. Throw in two(!) lovely blondes, treachery, and a battle for life and honour, and enjoy life at its zaniest. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Gefangene von Zenda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,425,315, 28 May 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,425,315, 28 May 1979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first screen version of "The Prisoner of Zenda" made as a comedy though the TV show The DuPont Show of the Month: The Prisoner of Zenda (1961) is also humor. See more »

Goofs

As Peter Sellers and his entourage approach the city in this Ruritarian romantic adventure, a tank truck and two Volkswagens can be seen on the horizon. See more »

Quotes

Rudolf IV: Michael, why do you hate me so?
Duke Michael: Because you are conceited, arrogant, spineless, selfish, shallow, pity, pompous and pitiful!
Rudolf IV: But apart from that?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in BoJack Horseman: Stupid Piece of Sh*t (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Peter Sellers in multiple roles not funny
16 February 2015 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

King Rudolf IV (Peter Sellers) crashes his balloon and dies falling into a well. General Sapt (Lionel Jeffries) and his nephew Fritz travel to London to retrieve the playboy son Rudolf V (Sellers) from a gambling house. The King's half-brother Michael sends an assassin to kill him. He's having an affair with the married Countess Montparnasse (Elke Sommer). Cab driver Frewin (Sellers) rescues him from an assassin. General Sapt hires Frewin as a coachman but really he's being used as a decoy without his knowledge. Frewin is attacked by Michael's men and the new King meets him. Rudolf is captured and imprisoned in Michael's castle of Zenda. Frewin is coronated instead but Rudolf's fiancée Princess Flavia (Lynne Frederick) notices the ruse.

Peter Sellers is playing multiple roles once again. There is nothing wrong with the plot. It's functional as a drama except it has no intention of being one. As a comedy, there are very few laughs. It's late in director Richard Quine's career and maybe the laughs weren't in him anymore. The slapstick is lazy. The jokes aren't there.


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