The Prisoner (1955 film)

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This article is about the 1955 film. For the 1967 UK TV show, see The Prisoner. For other uses, see The Prisoner (disambiguation).
The Prisoner
Directed by Peter Glenville
Written by Bridget Boland
Starring Alec Guinness
Jack Hawkins
Music by Benjamin Frankel
Cinematography Reginald H. Wyer
Edited by Frederick Wilson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures Corporation
Release dates 1955
Running time Netherlands:95 min / USA:91 min
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Prisoner is a 1955 drama film directed by Peter Glenville and based on the play by Bridget Boland. The film stars Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.

Plot summary[edit]

In an unnamed East European country that has recently come under Communist tyranny in place of Nazi tyranny, a Cardinal (Alec Guinness) is falsely accused of treason. The Interrogator (Jack Hawkins), an old friend of the Cardinal's but now a Communist, is given the task of persuading him to make a public confession of treason.

The Interrogator eventually breaks though by showing how the Cardinal became a priest to escape from his childhood. To purge his sin, in the show trial the Cardinal confesses to every lie of which he is accused, and is released to face a silent, bewildered crowd.

There is a subplot about a young warder (Ronald Lewis) who is in love with a married woman (Jeannette Sterke), who wants to leave the country and join her husband.[1]


The Cardinal was based on Croatian cardinal Aloysius Stepinac (1898–1960), who was a defendant in a trial in Croatia[2] and on Hungarian cardinal József Mindszenty (1892–1975), who was charged in Hungary. The film was shot in England and Belgium (at Ostend and Bruges).[1]



  1. ^ a b "The Prisoner.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 19 October 1955. p. 65. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  2. ^

External links[edit]