The Prisoner of Zenda
Saturday, May 21 at 3:00 pm
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. John Cromwell. 1937, 101 mins. 35mm. With Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. This David O. Selznick production of a popular late 19th-century novel is a buoyant, ingenious, thoroughly entertaining affair, and one of James Wong Howe’s proudest achievements. Colman plays English gentleman Major Rassendyll, who takes a fishing trip to an unnamed central European country where he encounters a soon-to-be king with whom he bears a striking resemblance, Rudolf V (also Colman). A dastardly rival to the throne necessitates that Rassendyll impersonate Rudolf, which only leads to more drama when the former falls for the latter’s fiancée, while a dashing saboteur (megawatt star Fairbanks Jr.) tries to play everyone against one another. Working alongside legendary art director William Cameron Menzies, Wong Howe devised ambitious tracking shots, ceiling-suspended shots, fluid transitions from interior to exterior, and in-camera split-screen magic to allow the perfectly game Colman to interact with himself.
Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.