The Prisoner Of Zenda

  • 1952
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Adventure, Romance

The forces of liberal constitutional monarchism are again put to the test by plotting generals in this third film version of the Anthony Hope novel that introduced the word "Ruritania" to the lexicon. This time Granger steps into the boots of the profligate monarch and his honorable British doppelganger previously portrayed by Lewis Stone in the 1922 silent...read more

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The forces of liberal constitutional monarchism are again put to the test by plotting generals in this third film version of the Anthony Hope novel that introduced the word "Ruritania" to the lexicon. This time Granger steps into the boots of the profligate monarch and his honorable

British doppelganger previously portrayed by Lewis Stone in the 1922 silent and by Ronald Colman in the fondly remembered 1937 remake. Granger is an Englishman vacationing in the Balkan principality of Ruritania. He meets the king (Granger again), who is about to be crowned and married to princess

Kerr. There is a conspiracy in the works, though, as the king's brother (Douglas) plans to usurp the throne by preventing the king from appearing at the appointed hour. The king is drugged and his loyal coterie convince his look-alike, the English tourist, to impersonate him, thereby foiling the

plot. Douglas and his followers, led by Mason, are not so easily stopped, though, and they kidnap the real king. The imposter, who finds himself falling in love with Kerr, comes to the rescue of the real king. A swordfight erupts among the traitors as tensions between Mason and Douglas come to a

head. Mason runs Douglas through as one of the Grangers swims the moat to free the other. One Granger duels with Mason while the other manages to get the drawbridge down so loyal cavalry can enter. Mason escapes by diving into the moat, paving the way for a sequel that Hope wrote in novel form but

which never came to the screen, Rupert of Hentzau. This version of the film is an almost shot-for-shot remake of the Colman version, without Granger having any of the easy charm of his predecessor. The best performance here comes from Mason, smooth and cunning in his villainous role. An

interesting sidelight is the appearance of Stone, the star of the 1922 version, in the role of the cardinal.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The forces of liberal constitutional monarchism are again put to the test by plotting generals in this third film version of the Anthony Hope novel that introduced the word "Ruritania" to the lexicon. This time Granger steps into the boots of the profligat… (more)

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