The Prisoner (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Prisoner (1955)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

British theatrical director Peter Glenville made his film directorial debut with 1955's The Prisoner (Glenville had previous helmed the London stage production of this Bridget Boland play). The film is based on the real-life travails of Hungarian Cardinal Mindszenty, who after suffering under Nazi persecution was imprisoned by the new Communist regime for remaining loyal to his religious convictions. Alec Guinness, his head shaved, plays an unnamed Cardinal in an unspecified Eastern European country who is clapped into jail. Here he is ordered by the politicos to issue a phony statement to his flock, one that will effectively end Catholicism in his country. Jack Hawkins plays the diabolically clever "Interrogator", who is almost successful in convincing Guinness that his false statement will have a beneficial effect. The Prisoner fared better in its American release than it did in Europe, where it was branded both "pro-Communist" and "anti-Communist" by various single-issue pressure groups. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Alec Guinness
as The Cardinal
Jack Hawkins
as The Interrogator
Kenneth Griffith
as The Secretary
Ronald Lewis
as The Warder
Raymond Huntley
as The General
Mark Dignam
as The Governor
Gerard Heinz
as The Doctor
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Critic Reviews for The Prisoner

All Critics (8)

The plot is oddly bland.

December 22, 2020 | Full Review…

Customers who insist that Guinness always be funny may be temporarily taken aback to discover him in an intellectual tragedy, but the net result is a movie of uncommon distinction.

November 12, 2019 | Full Review…

The Prisoner is an adaptation by Bridget Boland of her play in which Alec Guinness was carried in the arms of the tragic Muse to the very heights of his profession.

March 14, 2018 | Full Review…

What Guinness does with his eyes alone ... provides a seminar on acting. And that's just from the neck up.

May 3, 2006 | Full Review…

Drama psicológico inteligente e com belas atuações de Guinness, Hawkins e Lawson, perde pontos apenas pela presença forçada de uma subtrama tola envolvendo dois amantes.

November 23, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

This could've been a fascinating look at the interplay between two very different men...but Bridget Boland's screenplay utilizes the most stilted dialogue imaginable.

March 9, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

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