Review: ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’

To say that Rex Ingram and a remarkably good company of screen players have made the very utmost of the possibilities of Anthony Hope's novel about sums up this venture. It is the kind of romance that never stales - fresh, genuine, simple and wholesome. Indeed this screen translation is more profoundly interesting than either the novel or the Edward Rose stage play.

To say that Rex Ingram and a remarkably good company of screen players have made the very utmost of the possibilities of Anthony Hope’s novel about sums up this venture. It is the kind of romance that never stales – fresh, genuine, simple and wholesome. Indeed this screen translation is more profoundly interesting than either the novel or the Edward Rose stage play.

Ingram built a spacious ballroom with an atmosphere of unobtrusive splendor. For once you get the illusion that it is a royal ball and not a movie mob scene.

Another bit of finesse is the choice of the hero and heroine, in Lewis Stone, who makes no pretence to Apollo-like beauty, and Alice Terry who makes a Princess Flavia of surpassing blonde loveliness in her regal robes.

The close-ups of all the characters are done in a misty dimness that gives them a remoteness that inspires the imagination. Some of the landscapes are handled in like manner and throughout the photography is marked.

The Prisoner of Zenda

Production

Metro. Director Rex Ingram; Producer Rex Ingram; Screenplay Mary O'Hara; Camera John F. Seitz

Crew

Silent. (B&W) Extract of a review from 1922. Running time: 130 MIN.

With

Lewis Stone Alice Terry Robert Edeson Stuart Holmes Barbara La Marr Lois Lee
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