The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Costume Adventure, Romantic Adventure  |   Release Date - Nov 4, 1952 (USA)  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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One of Hollywood's most entertaining adventure stories of any era is a triumph of swashbuckling swordplay, careful direction, and reliably professional acting. Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. are at their best in this David O. Selznick production of Arthur Hope's classic novel about a British commoner on holiday in Ruritania who poses as his cousin, the king, in order to thwart a plot by rebels against the monarchy. Costuming, photography, and sword-fight choreography are all top-notch under the direction of John Cromwell. Hope's story had been filmed twice before during the silent era, in 1913 and 1922, and there would be two later versions; but critics agree that this is the best rendering.