The Prisoner of Zenda 1937

The Prisoner of Zenda

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 716

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Movie Info

This adventure-filled drama finds Englishman Rudolf Rassendyll (Ronald Colman) on vacation in a small European country, where he discovers his resemblance to the nation's royal heir-apparent, Rudolf V. When the king-to-be is drugged and incapacitated, Rassendyll must impersonate him, so that the scheming Duke Michael (Raymond Massey) can't assume the throne. To further complicate matters, Rassendyll starts to fall for Rudolf V's intended bride, Flavia (Madeleine Carroll).

Cast

Ronald Colman
as Rudolph/King Rudolf V
Madeleine Carroll
as Princess Flavia
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
as Rupert of Hentzau
Mary Astor
as Antoinette de Mauban
C. Aubrey Smith
as Col. Zapt
Raymond Massey
as Black Michael
Montagu Love
as Detchard
Alex D'Arcy
as De Gauiet
Torben Meyer
as Michael's Butler
Ian Maclaren
as Cardinal
Lawrence Grant
as Marshal Strakencz
Ben Webster
as British Ambassador
Evelyn Beresford
as British Ambassador's Wife
Boyd Irwin
as Master of Ceremonies
Emmett C. King
as Von Haugwitz, Lord High Chamberlain
Al Shean
as Orchestra Leader
Charles Halton
as Passport Officer
Russ Powell
as Traveler
Henry Roquemore
as Station Master
Otto H. Fries
as Luggage Officer
Lillian Harmer
as Station Attendant
Pat Somerset
as Guards at Lodge
Leslie Sketchley
as Guards at Lodge
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Critic Reviews for The Prisoner of Zenda

All Critics (10) | Fresh (10)

Audience Reviews for The Prisoner of Zenda

  • Jul 31, 2018
    Ronald Colman leads a superb cast in the flashy O. Selznick swashbuckler about a Central European crown coup attempt momentarily thwarted by use of an imposter. But how long can the plucky charade play out? Anxious tension every step of the way, plus Douglas Fairbanks Jr., looking (and acting!) every bit like his father, plus a court romance, and a great dance set piece (in a ballroom of white marble!), spells 'classic' from the first frame until the triumphant ride off into the sunset. Did they really do "rides off into the sunset"? You betcha!
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2008
    In the 1930's and 40's when you see Selznick's name on a film it was always top notch in every way. The acting, cinematography, costumes and set design are all A+. If you have seen Moon Over Parador then you know the plot of this film. The best thing about this film is the performance of Fairbanks Jr. There are multiple bad guys in this but he outshines them all , alot like Jeffery Wright in Shaft. A great swashbuckling film that is left open for a sequel that was too depressing of a book for Selznick to make.
    cody f Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2008
    "prisoner of zenda" is an original british swashbuckler with aristocraticly dashing ronald colman as the brave knight who defends the secred throne of a nation; madeleine carroll, the british rose, as the divine love interest; dandy douglas fairbanks jr. and raymond massey form a league of doublecrossing vallainy. the infatuation over this swashbucking tale has been remade four times in cinematic history. colman impersonates dual roles in this piece, the king to be throned and his identifical double who is merely an english man visiting outlandish nation. the king-to-be has been narcotized before the day he's about to be throned in consecration. so the loyal defenders of the king scheme to have the englishman as temporal substitute during his recovery. but the king's grudgy half brother covets the throne while his mischievous accomplice(fairbanks) drools over his mistress (mary astor). to add up the hardship, the englishman falls head over heels in love with the queen-to-be (carroll)...with all the conditions above, the price of honor and chivalric nobility appears precious. wouldn't that be the whole swashbuckler thing about? ronald colman has the elegant screen presence as well as his composed charisma in the aristocratic costumes, while madelein carroll luminates the scenes with her striking beauty in the utmost degree, particularly in the cross-staring in the annoitment scene. douglas fairbanks jr. has limited screen time but remain impressive with his naughty mannerism and rascal-alike grinning. "the prisoner of zenda" has every quintessential element of swashbuckler gendre except the consummation of romance since the queen-to-be selects her destined course of serving her royal house at the cost of her great one true love. the scene madelein bursts into an abrupt change of mind is sheer excellence of good acting. this is an aloof swashbuckler without the reward of his fair woman. perhaps tragic love emphasizes its gallantry for the ultimate swashbuckler without glorious compensation.
    Veronique K Super Reviewer

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