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 »
English trout fisher Rudolf Rassendyll is about the only tourist not coming for the coronation of Central-European King Rudolf V at Strelsau, but happens to be a distant relative and is approached on account of their canning resemblance to stand in for the drunken king, in order to prevent his envious half-brother Michael, who arranged spiking his wine to seize the throne when the reputedly less then dutiful Rudolf stays away. The ceremony goes well, and he gets acquainted with the charming royal bride, related princess Flavia, but afterward the king is found to be abducted; he must continue the charade and once the hiding place, the castle of Zenda, is found is involved in the fight between political parties for control over Rudolf V, his throne and his bride, for which a formidable third candidate, Michael's disloyal co-conspirator Rupert of Hentzau, was waiting in the curtains.Written by
When the Count and Rudolph square off, the former offers the latter "a fencing lesson", but they are fighting with sabers which have a technique distinctly different from fencing. See more »
I know my clothes are a little conservative, but we English always dress as if we're going to a funeral when we're on a holiday.
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Opening credits prologue: Toward the close of the last century, when History still wore a Rose, and Politics had not yet outgrown the Waltz, a Great Royal Scandal was whispered in the Anterooms of Europe. However true it was, any resemblance in THE PRISONER OF ZENDA to Heroes, Villains, or Heroines, living or dead, is a coincidence not intended ... See more »
Seems to me that if you're going to do a re-make of an earlier film, you need to have a better approach than just to refilm it, scene-by-scene, from its immediate predecessor.
Watching this 1952 version of "The Prisoner of Zenda," it emerges an astonishing "carbon copy" of its 15-year-old vintage model, only with different actors and in color.
What was most surprising was using Alfred Newman's 1937 music almost note-for-note. Conrad Salinger, MGM arranger-orchestrator-composer, seemed to have merely pulled out the old score, dusted off the parts, and passed them out to the MGM Orchestra to re-record.
Since this was also the music used for the now historic early December '39 sneak-preview of "Gone With the Wind" (outside of Los Angeles prior to its premiere before Max Steiner finished his work) it's even more strange to hear it here.
While the '52 cast was talented and the production values intact, there were no particularly fresh insights or viewpoints offered here, resulting in an efficiently "cloned" confection.
Less that an auspicious feather in MGM's cinematic folio, it still probably went over well with a new "generation" unfamiliar with either the '37 film or the original novel.
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