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The Prisoner
The Prisoner
Actors: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Wilfrid Lawson, Kenneth Griffith, Jeanette Sterke
Director: Peter Glenville
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2004     1hr 31min

Alec Guinness stars as an outspoken cardinal from an Eastern Bloc country who?s jailed for his rebellious beliefs and subjected to the relentless interrogation of a psychologist (Jack Hawkins). After months of grilling, Ha...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Wilfrid Lawson, Kenneth Griffith, Jeanette Sterke
Director: Peter Glenville
Creators: Reginald H. Wyer, Frederick Wilson, Sydney Box, Vivian Cox, Bridget Boland
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/02/2004
Original Release Date: 12/11/1955
Theatrical Release Date: 12/11/1955
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Georgian

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Movie Reviews

The Destructive Power of Evil on Two Souls
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sir Alec gives a riveting performance as an imprisioned cardinal psychologically tortured into questioning himself and his beliefs circa WWII. Jack Hawkins is the perfect foil to witness and instigate Guinness' character's slow deterioration of mind and spirit. In the process, Hawkins' character begins to question his own humanity. Deeply moving and beautifully done. A great study into the mind of man and the dance between good and evil."
Compelling psychological drama
Cory D. Slipman | Rockville Centre, N.Y. | 02/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The Prisoner" is an underappreciated yet nonetheless superb and gripping drama revolving around two outstanding British actors Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins. Guinness plays a austere and principled cardinal in an unnamed Eastern European country. His views are apparently not in line with those of the state. He is arrested by the police to be psychologically tortured by interrogator Jack Hawkins. Hawkins must break down the resolve of the impenetrable Guinness so as to have him renounce his beliefs during a well publicized trial.

The dialogue between the men causes both to question their convictions as the lines between prisoner and interrogator becomes muddled.

The acting by both Hawkins and Guinness is at an extremely high level of professionalism. British character actor, Wilfrid Lawson, playing the jailer also gives a very effectine performance."
Superb acting and interrelation between patient & interrogat
Edward L. Creamer | 12/23/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wonderful acting. Foreshadowing trajic real life death of Jack Hawkins. The Cardinal down trodden, held in captivity, brainwashed, and abused rises through psychological catharsis to prevail over his "analyst"/"captor"."
An Electrifying Drama
Edward L. Creamer | 04/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie, now 52 years old, is a still classic in every sense. It tells the story of a situation painfully similar to the real ordeal involving Cardinal Mindzenty. The dedication of the Cardinal (Guinness) to his post is valiant and the unending attack by the accuser (Hawkins) is engrossing. Guinness and Hawkins were 2 of the finest actors in the past century and they rose to peak performances in this work. PLUS all of the background represented the prevailing atmosphere in parts of post- WWII Europe very well."