In the King of Prussia

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In the King of Prussia
Directed byEmile de Antonio
Written byEmile de Antonio
Produced byEmile de Antonio
Edited byMark Pines
Music byJackson Browne, Graham Nash
Release date
  • February 13, 1983 (1983-02-13) (New York City)
Running time
90 minutes

In the King of Prussia is a 1983 film directed and written by Emile de Antonio. The film reconstructs the events of the 1980s "Plowshares Eight". The group of anti-war activists were charged with the September 1980 destruction of nose cones designed for nuclear warheads at the Re-Entry Division of the General Electric Space Technology Center in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.[1][2] The members of the Plowshares Eight, including Daniel Berrigan and Philip Berrigan, played themselves while actors played the roles of jurors, lawyers and police; Martin Sheen played the role of the judge in this shot-on-video feature.[3]


De Antonio had previously worked with Daniel Berrigan on his film In the Year of the Pig. The Berrigans asked de Antonio to film the trial for their actions in King of Prussia, which de Antonio initially refused because he did not share their religious beliefs. However, he changed his mind and agreed shortly before the trial. Martin Sheen had been a friend of de Antonio's since the controversy surrounding de Antonio's previous film, Underground. Sheen offered to help with de Antonio's new project and accepted the role of Judge Samuel Salus II.[4]

For this film, de Antonio shot and edited the footage on video, then converted to 35mm film.


In the King of Prussia premiered in New York City on February 13, 1983. The film played at the Berlin International Film Festival that year.

The film was released on VHS in 1983 by MPI Home Video.[5]


  1. ^ "'King of Prussia,' With Berrigan Brothers," New York Times, February 13, 1983
  2. ^ "Time Out review". Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  3. ^ "Emile de Antonio Interviews Himself: In the King of Prussia," University of California Press, 1982
  4. ^ Gallagher, Sharon (2000), "On the Making of In the King of Prussia: An Interview with Emile de Antonio", in Kellner, Douglas; Streible, Dan (eds.), Emile de Antonio: A Reader, Minneapolis, MN: The University of Minnesota Press, pp. 309–311
  5. ^ In the King of Prussia (VHS tape, 1983). OCLC 14988528 – via WorldCat.

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