The Prisoner of Zenda


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Movie info

  • Title :

    The Prisoner of Zenda

  • Year :


  • Genre :

    Romance , Adventure , Drama

  • IMDb Rating :

    7.6 / 10

  • Cast :

    Mary Astor , David Niven , Madeleine Carroll , C. Aubrey Smith


Having got off the train, Rudolf Rassendyll, a British subject, dressed up in the typical tweeds of an English sportsman, is going through passport check at a small principality somewhere in Europe. He is asked whether he is here for the coronation, he tells them he is on a fishing holiday. He notices that people keep staring at him. He thinks it must be his dress. By way of explanation he says Of course you dont dress this way in your country, but you see we dont dress your way in England. His English humour is lost on his audience. Actually, minus his goatee, he has a striking resemblance to the soon to be crowned king of the principality.While fishing in what turns out be to extremely troubled waters, he is spotted by the king and his body guards, an old Colonel and his aide, the young David Niven, also out hunting. The king Rudolf V and the commoner Rudolf stare at each other. The king, who has already had a few, says, "It is too early in the day to be seeing double. On comparing notes they find out that they are cousins, far, far, far removed. Rudolf with his typical British humour says We owe this kinship to your great-great-great-grandfather Rudolf and my great-great-great-grandmother Amelia."The king is delighted and says, then you must attend my coronation tomorrow, but for now let us retreat to my hunting lodge for drinks and dinner. The drinking and the gaiety goes on and on under the watchful eyes of the Colonel. A toast is drunk to great-great-great-grandfather Rudolf and is reciprocated for great-great-great-grandmother Amelia."Who should we drink to now, asks the already tipsy king. I would drink to prince Michael, my half brother, but he does not love me. He thinks the world is wrong. He thinks he ought to be me and I ought to be he. Let us instead drink to my cousin Flavia soon to be my bride and queen. I havent seen her for years, she and I did not get on very well then. Perhaps we shall now. They say she is too good for me, perhaps she is. You know what they say about me dont you? I drink too much."The king wants another bottle brought from the cellar for his English guest. The king pours a drink but finds that his guest is already snoring. He drinks it himself and slumps to the floor.In the morning one sniff of the bottle tells the Colonel that the king has been drugged, most certainly the handiwork of the black prince Michael to keep the king away from the coronation. It appears the king will not come around for many hours. He tells Rudolf, "if my king is not crowned today, he never will be. Prince Michael wants the crown and the queen. Only you can help us.""My dear Colonel I came here on a fishing trip, I like to fish. I couldnt begin to act like a king even if I tried. I wouldnt deceive any body. Saying this he starts smiling. Colonel What do you find so amusing.""It would be a scene wouldnt it, the cathedral crowded to the doors, Organ booming, I kneel to be crowned. Then your friend Michael steps forward and says This isnt the king. This is an Englishman named Rudolf Rassendyll. Colonel - Then Michael sits on the throne today and the king lies in prison or his grave, and Princess Flavia marries that scoundrel.""You cant let that happen to her.""Can you?""Rudolf ruminating, After all, it would only for a day. Wouldnt it.""By tonight you will be safely across the border.""King for a day. What would it mean if I fail.""Your life and mine and of young David.""The king is laid down in the cellar in charge of the lodge keeper. As they depart, David salutes the king, "Sleep well sire, we go to see you crowned."During the train journey to the capital, Rudolf is briefed on the coronation ceremony and made to learn by rote the speech he would have to make. As they alight the train the Colonel murmurs God save the king. Rudolf says God save both of them.Prince Michael is planning to announce that the king will not be coming for the coronation and has abdicated in his favour, when suddenly he hears the bugles heralding the arrival of the King. He dispatches his henchmen to the hunting lodge to find out what had gone wrong.Inside the cathedral, Rudolf comes face to face with Michael who stares at him as if seeing a ghost. The elder brother, as per custom, lends his arm to the younger brother to guide him to the throne.The Cardinal places the crown on the kings head. He stands up with his sword held aloft and recites his rehearsed speech about defending the realm against all enemies etc. While Rudolf is reciting the rather longish speech, the Colonel and David listen most anxiously with bated breaths and exhale a sigh of relief as he completes the speech without faltering.Then princess Flavia walks to the throne down the long corridor, flanked on both sides by courtiers, kneels down before the king and swears allegiance. Rudolf lifts her up by the shoulders, they momentarily stand side by side and then start to walk out of the cathedral to the waiting royal carriageUnsure of himself, Rudolf falls back on small talk, "Well, I think it all went off very well, dont you, for a coronation. Of course, I mean, that is, a coronation should go well, if a king puts in an appearance, properly dressed and looks his part.""And sober.""Well, that was a nasty one. By the way among my Many other failings, I rather neglected you, didnt I.""Two picture post cards in three years, I think.""And all the time youve been changing into the loveliest princess in Europe. No, the loveliest girl in Europe.""Your dynastic obligations to the princess royal dont compel you to make pretty speeches to her in private."Rudolf, pointing to the teeming crowds on both sides says, "You call this private.""You really behaved and looked like a king today. Something, I confess, few of us expected of you."Arriving at the royal palace they both appear on the balcony to the adulations of the gathered subjects. And from there retreat to an inner room."I think wed better go out, theyre expecting.""Dont go yet. Its such a relief to have you to myself for a moment. All day long Ive been on parade. Cheered at, waved at, stared at. Not a chance to say - - - .""Say what?""Its enough to make any man lose his head a bit. I am crowned king. I meet the loveliest, most beautiful woman - - - - " "That isnt what you used to say. You used to call me tow-headed scarecrow.""No! I hope you slapped me.""I did. And once I kicked you very hard.""Where?""In the garden.""I deserved it. But I've reformed.""Almost beyond recognition. You seem an entirely different person. I cant understand.""Dont try. Just stand there and let me look at you.""But once you really hurt me. Youve forgotten, havent you.""What did I do?""It was at my 14th birthday party and I thought I was grown up. Your father told you to dance with me. You said you wouldnt, that I was a beastly infant. And when he insisted, you pinched me all the time we were dancing and told me how gawky I was. I hated you.""I should have been horse whipped."Rudolf keeps Michael waiting outside before he can come in to pay his feigned respects. Rudolf takes a few jibes at him including how he had enjoyed the bottle of wine Michael had sent for him to the hunting lodge. Michael takes leave."Rudolf please be careful, Michael hates you. If you wont think of yourself, think of me. All my life Ive known what my future had to be and I was resigned to it. And now I dont have to tell you how different it is.""Forgive me Flavia, I have been unfair.""I only want you to know how much your life means to your country.""To my country?""And to your friends.""My friends?""And to your cousin and, most loving servant."Flavia gets up to leave saying, "I will see you tomorrow."Rudolf repeats sadly to himself tomorrow, knowing he would not be here tomorrow.Colonel says to Rudolf, "let us hurry back to the lodge to bring back the king and bid you farewell." At the lodge they find that the king has been kidnapped and taken prisoner to prince Michaels Castle of Zenda.Rudolf now perforce becomes the king for more than one day."At the coronation ball, Flavia waltzing with Rudolf says You look troubled.""I was only thinking there may never be another night like this, another waltz.""We shall always waltz together, Rudolf."Rudolf sees the British Ambassador approaching. He knows the Ambassador and is worried he might recognize him. The Cardinal joins them and asks for a date for the wedding. Rudlof, unsure of when the king can be brought back, says, in six months time."Cardinal- that is rather a long postponement."Unable to reveal the real reason, Rudolf prevaricates, "There's an old proverb your eminence. Something about crossing your bridges before you come to them.""Ambasador If your majesty will examine that proverb, you will find how very difficult it would be to cross a bridge at any other time!"Moving away the Ambassador tells his wife, did you notice how much the king resembles our young Rudolf. Not at all - a typical wifely response. Princess Flavia is most upset about the postponement and starts to leave the ball. Rudolf begs her to listen to him."I never could willingly do anything to hurt you.""I still dont understand.""Then will you believe this without understanding that I love you.""Oh, is it true or do you say that because you must."How the king is rescued from the prison in Zenda is a long and tortuous tale of jelousy, treachery, loyalty and bravery, the last by Rudolf himself in no small measure. Not much unlike the twists and turns in our Indian films of that period.The king says to him, "I want to tell my people what you have done for us but I am told this has to be kept secret. You could not have served me better, you have taught me how to be a king.""Princess Flavia wants to see Rudolf before he leaves for England.""Rudolf presents himself Your highness.""I sent for you to thank you for the service youve done this kingdom and its king.""I love you. With my whole heart and soul, I love you. In all else I have been an imposter, but not in that. From the first moment I saw you in the cathedral youve been the only woman in the world for me. As I stand now, I know there'll never be any other.""It would have made no difference if Id known. It was always you and never the king.""Come with me, I wont give you up. I wont let them stand in the way of our happiness.""Theres a world outside. Our world. And a throne for you, a womans throne, in my heart.""I want that.""Oh my love, think. Youll be free. Free of all these cares and duties - - - - .""He sees the expression on her face change and asks, what is it Flavia?""I was born for these cares and duties, Rudolf, Help me to do what I was born to do. Help me to do what I must. But how can I do that, I love you.""If love were all you would have left the king to die in his cell. Honour binds a woman too, Rudolf. I must stay."-Khurshid Anwer-

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  • Date: 2024-06-22

Tech specs

  • specs-icon-01 889.31 MB
  • specs-icon-02 1280*720
  • specs-icon-03 en
  • specs-icon-04 PG-13
  • specs-icon-05 Subtitles
  • specs-icon-06 23.976 fps
  • specs-icon-07 101
  • P/S 856 / 3,456