The Prisoner of Zenda (1979 film)

The Prisoner Of Zenda (1979 Film)

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The Prisoner of Zenda (1979 film)

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The Prisoner of Zenda is a 1979 American comedy film directed by Richard Quine and adapted from the adventure novel by Anthony Hope, first published in 1894. The novel tells the story of a man who has to impersonate a king, whom he happens to closely resemble, when the king is abducted by enemies on the eve of his coronation.

The comedy was loosely adapted by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. It starred Peter Sellers, Lynne Frederick, Lionel Jeffries, Elke Sommer, Gregory Sierra, Jeremy Kemp and Catherine Schell. It has echoes of not only Hope's book but also several other well known novels, especially Dumas's The Man in the Iron Mask. Sellers plays three roles that of the Ruthenian King Rudolph V and the London cab driver Sydney Frewin who is brought in to portray the missing King with whom he shares an uncanny resemblance. Sellers also portrayed the aged King Rudoph IV at the start of the film, before he is killed in a Hot air balloon accident.

Plot

In the 1979 version, the old King, Rudolf IV (Sellers), dies in a balloon accident upon the celebration of his seventieth birthday. In order to secure the throne, General Sapt and his nephew Fritz travel to London, where the king's son, Rudolf V (Sellers), resides and lives through the day in London's pleasure establishments; but the King's demented half-brother Michael (Kemp), thinking that he is the better claimant, sends an assassin after them. Hansom cab driver Sydney (or Sidney) Frewin (Sellers), the King's bastard...
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