The Prisoner of Zenda (1952) Movie Script

Passengers will please to descend.
- Papers!
- Flowers.
- Passengers will please to descend.
- Papers from all parts of Europe!
- This way for passport examination, please.
- Paper, mister?
- This way for passport examination.
- Special rates for the coronation.
Special high rates.
"Rudolf Rassendyll, British subject.
Purpose of visit, pleasure."
- What hotel in Strelsau, Mr. Rassendyll?
- I hadn't thought about it.
You better think about it,
if you don't wanna sleep in the park.
In that case, I won't go to Strelsau
until after the coronation.
I've come to your country
for a rest...
...with the intention of
going fishing for trout.
I beg your pardon,
have I said anything I shouldn't?
I know my clothes
are a little conservative...
...but we English always dress as if
we're going to a funeral when on a holiday.
Everything is quite in order.
Thank you for making me feel
so much at home.
- I'll take these. Thanks.
- But your train's going.
I'm going to Strelsau on foot
in my own good time.
- But you'll miss the coronation, sir.
- I make a point of missing coronations.
I hope your trout take as much
interest in me as you do.
I shan't be able
to land them fast enough.
It's a trick of the devil.
Shave him, and he'd be the king.
May I ask your name, sir?
Well, since you've taken the first step
in the acquaintance, gentlemen...
...perhaps you'd give me a lead
in the matter of names.
Well, certainly. This is Colonel Zapt,
and I am called Fritz von Tarlenheim.
We are both in the service
of His Majesty the king.
I'm Rudolf Rassendyll.
I'm here on holiday from England.
I was recently in the service
of Her Majesty the queen.
- Rassendyll?
- How do you do.
- How do you do.
- Rassendyll.
Of course. By heaven,
your face betrays you, sir.
- You know his history, I believe.
- Well, I had heard a rumor or two.
I was hoping that our skeleton
was safe at home in our family cupboard.
Some skeletons
are prodigious travelers, sir.
- Fritz, where are you?
- Here, Your Majesty.
Confound it, I thought
you'd lost yourselves again.
- Who is this gentleman?
- A distant relative of yours, Your Majesty.
Distant? He seems too close for comfort.
That is something for which
you cannot entirely blame me.
Oh, then who shall I blame?
With Your Majesty's permission, I
would suggest the blame lies equally...
...between your
great-great-great-grandfather Rudolf...
...and my
great-great-great-grandmother Amelia.
- I beg your pardon.
- He's right, Your Majesty.
- The man is a Rassendyll from England.
- Rassendyll? England?
Yes, Your Majesty.
Ever since Amelia's time...
...the Elphberg face has cropped out
on one of us every now and then.
Well met, cousin!
Forgive me
if I seemed a little slow...
...but it's a bit early in the day to
see double, even for me. Eh, Zapt?
- What are you doing here, cousin?
- I must admit to being guilty...
...of the same offense
as our mutual ancestor, Your Majesty.
- And what was that?
- Fishing in forbidden waters.
That's very funny. That's funny.
The man has wit.
You must come
to my coronation tomorrow.
I'd give a thousand crowns
for the sight of brother Michael's face...
...when he sees the pair of us.
You shall stay at my hunting lodge.
Tonight, we shall dine you royally.
Our ancestors laid down some good wine
here in the lodge, cousin. Fritz.
They little thought that a bottle or two
was laid down for you.
All in the family. All in the family.
- Cousin Rudolf, I propose a toast.
- Hear, hear.
Another toast.
A toast to...
- Have we anybody left?
- Your brother, Michael, perhaps?
We drink to Michael in vinegar,
my friend, not in good wine.
I'll tell you a secret
about my brother Michael.
- My brother Michael does not love me.
- No?
No. But he loves my shoes.
He feels that he should be in my shoes,
and I should be in his.
No. No toast for Michael.
We'll drink instead to Cousin Flavia.
Soon to be my bride and queen.
Hear, hear.
Poor Flavia. See never had a chance
to choose anybody else.
Well, for that matter, neither did I.
It's a pity
you can't meet the princess.
At least I'm told it's a pity.
I haven't seen her for years.
She and I didn't get on very well then.
Still let's hope we shall now.
I sincerely hope so, Your Majesty,
if you're going to marry her.
They tell me she's far too good for me.
I can well believe it.
You know what they say about me,
don't you? I drink too much.
I imagine you're well able to take care
of yourself on that score, Your Majesty.
Oh, I've done my fair share of drinking
in my day. I'd be the last to deny it.
But tomorrow... the cathedral...
...when my people place the crown upon
my head and proclaim me their king...
...I shall be their king
for the rest of my life.
But tonight...
Tonight, I drink with my friends.
With my friend.
You know, Rassendyll, I like you.
You're a good fellow.
Oh, you're English,
but you're a good fellow.
I wanna drink a toast to you.
Confound it, where's all the wine gone to?
Josef! Josef!
A bottle of the '68. Josef!
Your Majesty, it is my duty to remind you
once more of tomorrow.
- What, again?
- Yes, again.
Well, then, you've reminded me.
Sit down, have a drink.
- You have a duty, Your Majesty.
- Duty, duty. On my last night of freedom?
I question your freedom
to drink yourself into a condition... which you'll not be fit
to be crowned.
I question your right
to address me in that manner.
- I served your father in...
- I question your right to mention my father.
Your father honored his obligations
to the crown.
Are you suggesting that I do not?
Your father never thought of himself,
or of his own pleasure.
Your father never forgot he was a king.
By your leave, Your Majesty.
Zapt? Zapt?
What are you doing here?
The 1868, Your Majesty.
You sent for it.
Oh, did I?
- Josef.
- Yes, Your Majesty?
I've had too much to drink.
- You'd better take it back.
- Yes, Your Majesty.
No, wait, wait, we have a guest.
Excellent fellow, Josef. English.
Excellent fellow, Josef,
but he can't drink.
I can drink. I'm the king.
You better go to bed, Josef.
- Good night, Your Majesty.
- Good night.
Sleep well.
Everybody, sleep well.
Everybody sleeps but the king.
- I don't think much of your joke, sir!
- You think it's a joke, do you?
This is no joke, Englishman.
That was quite an evening, wasn't it?
- What happened?
- Josef found him lying here this morning.
You didn't drink
any of this last bottle?
- Not that I know of, no.
- I think you'd know if you had.
- Why? Was it drugged?
- It was.
- Have you sent for a doctor?
- There's none within 10 miles.
A thousand doctors wouldn't take him
to Strelsau. I know the look of it.
He'll not stir for six or seven hours.
But how? Why? Who?
Who else but Michael?
- Michael? His own brother?
- His half brother.
Michael's mother wasn't
exactly acceptable in court circles.
He wants the crown to be
offered to him by the people.
He wants to pose as their savior
from the excesses of an incompetent king.
If he's not crowned today,
he'll never be crowned.
Englishman, I am much older than you.
As a man grows old,
he comes to believe in fate.
Fate sent you here.
- Fate sends you now to Strelsau.
- What?
I'd wager without your moustache,
you could deceive your own brother.
- Oh, you're out of your mind.
- It's a risk, yes...
...against a certainty.
My dear colonel, I came here
on a fishing trip. I like to fish.
I'm an ordinary Englishman.
I couldn't begin to act like a king, even
if I tried. I wouldn't deceive anybody.
What are you smiling at?
It conjures up quite a picture, doesn't it?
The cathedral crowded to the doors...
...the organ booming,
I kneel to be crowned.
Then your friend Michael
steps forward and shouts:
"That isn't the king. That's an Englishman
named Rudolf Rassendyll!"
Oh, no, I'm sorry, gentlemen.
Then Michael sits on the throne tonight,
and the king lies in prison or his grave.
After all, it... It would only
be for today, wouldn't it?
By tonight,
you'll be safely across the border.
And if I fail, what then?
Your life, and mine, and Fritz's here.
Confound it, I'd become
awfully fond of this moustache.
Well, I hope the crown's a better fit.
- Well, what are we going to do?
- We've got to hide him.
We can't chance Michael's men
finding him here.
- The cellar's best. Pick him up.
- Lf they search...
- Josef will put them off.
- But...
We're not playing. I know the risk.
If they do find him, he'll be no worse off
than if he's not crowned in Strelsau today.
Pick him up.
- I beg your pardon, sir.
- One moment.
- How long have you been caretaker here?
- Ten years.
- Have you the key to the wine cellar?
- Yes, sir.
Open it.
No. No, no.
Drink it.
Drink it!
Tie her up. Better gag her too.
On the night before your coronation,
you had to have wine.
Wine, and more wine.
Remarkable vintage, that '68.
Lock the door.
Sleep well, Your Majesty.
We go to see you crowned.
By heaven, we'll do it yet.
It's not bad. It's not bad at all.
I'll never keep that in.
Look here, you've overlooked one thing.
Yesterday's temples
won't do for today's king.
- You're right. What can we do?
- Well...
...I suggest some bootblacking,
preferably the king's.
I may as well be royal all over.
There. The last detail.
This is to be released
20 minutes after Hentzau brings you word...
...that the coronation ceremonies
have been canceled.
- Twenty minutes, not before.
- Yes, Your Highness.
And now may I offer you
my congratulations.
A shade premature,
but thank you, Detchard.
Gentlemen, it's time for you
to proceed to your posts.
The hour is almost upon us.
We go in the cause of our country,
and our future sovereign.
Our future sovereign, Queen Flavia.
He looked at you when he said
"our future sovereign."
Have you been lying to me, Michael?
- Is it more than the regency you want?
- No, of course not.
As regent, the sovereign power
will be mine. That's all he meant.
Was it? Is power all you want?
- I'm afraid, Michael.
- For me or for yourself?
You promised to make me your wife.
I want to be your wife.
I want to love you and make you happy.
Once you are regent,
they would never let you marry me.
Michael, take the happiness
we can have together.
- Leave the power to your brother.
- No!
I've played second fiddle
to that drunken sot for the last time.
His mother was a princess
and mine was not... he lived in the royal palace,
he dined with kings.
Well, today the feast is set for Rudolf.
But it's Michael who will sit in his place.
Come in.
Count Rupert of Hentzau
at your service, Your Majesty.
- I'm sorry to interrupt you, Your Majesty.
- Hentzau.
Your Highness.
Your wit is as inopportune
as your appearance.
Why are you not at your post?
How can I witness the coronation of a king
who will be conspicuous by his absence?
Do we want to make it obvious
we knew he would not be there?
Incidentally, the burgomaster of Zenda
is outside to pay his respects... the head of
a delegation of loyal peasants.
I told them you were probably too busy
to see them, as of course you are.
There may come a time, Hentzau...
...when your services
will no longer excuse your impertinence.
I called at your hotel again this morning
and as usual they said you were out.
Curiously enough, you were out for once.
I'm glad you stopped lying to me.
I hate being lied to by women.
They never did before.
I always lied to them.
You and I will never have anything
to lie to each other about.
Never? Somebody once called fidelity
the fading woman's greatest weapon...
...the charming woman's
greatest hypocrisy.
And you're very charming... anyone whose head is not
bowed beneath a borrowed crown.
I thought I heard His Highness order you
to your place at the cathedral.
So you're trying
to put me in my place too.
I love arrogance in a woman.
It's always so amusing to discover
that their arrogance is only a defense.
But you need no defense against me.
You and I are allies.
Michael is plotting to betray us both.
Poor Michael,
how he shortchanges himself...
...deserting a warm, exciting
woman of the world...
...for an insipid wax doll.
That was hardly up to your usual standard,
Count Rupert.
I'd heard you were much more subtle.
What makes you think Michael has
any intention of marrying Princess Flavia?
- How else can he get the crown?
- He doesn't want the crown.
As those in his confidence know.
He wants only to be regent.
He's made you think he only wants
to be the man behind the throne? No.
He wants to sit on it.
And sit on it he never can
unless he sits beside the rightful queen.
And that queen is not you.
Even though you'd make a perfect queen.
I'm glad you believe me at last.
I told you we were allies.
I can even help you to win him back.
I'm the only man who can...
...because I'm the only man
who isn't afraid of him.
All you have to do is to give him
genuine cause to be jealous of me.
Would that be hard?
I, Rudolf, with justice and mercy,
to deal sovereignty.
To guard with vigilance and honor the
welfare of my peoples from all enemies...
No, no. Don't tell me.
From all enemies to defend them...
...and from the throne of my ancestors,
to bear faithful rule, all this do I swear.
A little swift, but you'll do.
Stop shaking, lad.
They'll mistake it for a royal hangover.
Now, let me see.
We're all right till the cathedral.
The princess hasn't seen him
for several years. But Michael...
Yeah. Well, I've told you all I can.
I'll be at your side every minute.
Your capital, Your Majesty.
God save the king!
God save the king!
God save them both. Steady, lad.
It's the day, the hour,
almost the moment.
History is born out of a bottle of wine.
The king.
His Majesty has arrived, Your Highness.
The king? How's it possible?
Ride back to Zenda at once.
Find out who betrayed us.
If only he'd drunk
what I wanted to put in that bottle.
Look now upon our liege lord,
Rudolf V...
...undoubted king of this realm.
And if any man would deny our sovereign
lord's title to our lands and fealty...
...let him speak now,
or be attainted traitor.
Receive the crown of the kingdom...
...and understand what a glory of sanctity
and honor and bravery it signifies.
God save the king.
God save the king!
God save the king!
- God save the king!
- God save the king.
I, Rudolf, with justice and mercy
to deal sovereignty... guard with vigilance and honor
the welfare of my peoples...
...from all enemies to defend them...
...and from the throne of my ancestors,
to bear faithful rule...
...all this do I swear.
I, Flavia, do become thy vassal...
...swearing to serve thee in truth
with life and limb...
...until death findeth me... help me God.
- Do I kiss her?
- Yes.
Well, I think everything went off very well,
don't you, for a coronation?
I mean, that is, not that
a coronation shouldn't go well...
...provided the king puts in an appearance
suitably dressed and suitably rehearsed.
- And suitably sober.
- And suitably sober.
Yes, I was hoping you'd notice that.
By the way...
...among my other failings,
I've rather neglected you, haven't I?
Two picture post cards
in three years, I think.
To think, all this time you've been changing
into the loveliest princess in Europe.
No, the loveliest girl in Europe.
Your new responsibilities do not compel you
to shower me with compliments in private.
You call this private?
I'm glad you think I've changed
since you last saw me.
You're different too.
Well, wouldn't anybody seem different
with all this going on?
I probably looked like a prize idiot,
and talked like one too.
You're too modest.
You really looked and acted
like a king today.
Oh, thank you.
It was delightfully unexpected.
- Aren't you forgetting something?
- What?
That's better.
Wait, I've got an idea.
Supposing you bow on my side
of this goldfish bowl...
...and I'll salute on yours.
Like that.
There, isn't that more cozy?
They seem to like that.
Bless them.
They're with you heart and soul.
Me? It was you they were cheering.
I felt like cheering you too
when I first saw you.
- Everyone's waiting...
- Oh, no, please.
Don't go yet. It's such a relief
to have you to myself for a moment.
All day long I've been on parade.
Cheered at, waved at, stared at.
Not a moment to tell you...
Tell me what?
It's enough to turn
any man's head a bit.
I'm crowned king, I meet the loveliest,
the most beautiful woman.
That isn't what you used to say. You used
to call me "that clumsy little scarecrow."
- I did?
- Yes.
- I should've been horsewhipped.
- Those were my very words.
- Once I kicked you, quite hard.
- Good. I'm sure I deserved it.
But I hope you never find it necessary
to kick me again.
You know, you've changed
beyond all recognition.
It's almost impossible to believe
that anybody could change so much.
And so quickly.
Well, it must be that you
bring out the best in people.
No. You've become
an entirely different person.
They're waiting for us.
We really must go.
Must we?
Another thing I always wanted to know,
is the world outside...
...really as wicked and exciting
as the novels make out?
What did you do on those long trips?
When you weren't drinking, I mean.
Well, when I wasn't drinking,
I used to go fishing.
Fishing? You used to despise fishing.
Well, I did and I didn't, if you follow me.
Have you ever done any trout fishing?
- No, and you know why.
- Oh, I do?
I asked you to teach me.
You sent me home.
I made too many mistakes
and scared the fish.
But once you really hurt me.
- You've forgotten, haven't you?
- I wish you had too.
It was my 14th birthday party.
I had my first formal dress.
I thought I was quite grown up.
You were to be the guest of honor.
I wanted to show you that
the ugly duckling had become a swan.
And what did I do?
At the end when everyone had gone home
and you still hadn't come...
...I hated you.
I'm beginning to hate myself.
His Highness Prince Michael is waiting to
pay his respects to you, Your Majesty.
Well, let him wait.
And furthermore,
Captain von Tarlenheim...
...I find your intrusion
excessively irregular.
Rudolf, it's not wise
to provoke Michael deliberately.
- Oh, why not? Why be worried about him?
- I'm not.
- I'm worried about you.
- Well, that's a different matter altogether.
We can't allow that.
Will you excuse me?
My dear Michael!
I had no idea you'd been kept waiting.
Why was I not informed
of my brother's presence?
I will not tolerate
such inefficiency again, gentlemen.
This is indeed a privilege
worth being kept waiting for, cousin.
It's most kind of you to say so, cousin.
You know, brother,
this was a day I'd really been dreading.
I had a queer feeling
that something might go wrong.
But with you in charge,
my fears were foolish, weren't they?
I can hardly thank you enough
for arranging my affairs.
It's gratifying to find Your Majesty in such
excellent spirits after the strain of the day.
I've never felt so fit in my life.
It must be the excitement.
It's the first time I've ever been crowned,
you know.
Yeah, that's rather funny.
Don't you think so, brother?
- Very funny, indeed.
- Yeah.
There's another reason I feel so well. I had
an extraordinary native wine last night.
Soothed my nerves, slept like a top.
This one comes from very near your castle.
You really ought to try it sometime,
if ever you're troubled with insomnia.
I very seldom suffer with insomnia.
Indeed. That shows what a very
clear conscience you must have.
I have.
I have yet to have a dream that did not
come true, provided I waited long enough.
Yes, of course.
Everything comes to him who waits.
I see I bore Your Majesty.
With Your Majesty's permission,
I bid you good night.
Rudolf, do be careful.
You know how bitterly he hates you.
Well, now he knows
how bitterly I hate him.
You still can't afford
to make an open enemy of him.
He'd stop at nothing,
even now, to ruin you.
Oh, you're overestimating him.
Or perhaps you're underestimating me.
Rudolf, if you won't think of yourself,
think of me.
All my life I've known
what my future had to be...
...and I was resigned to it.
But now... Now I don't have to
tell you how different it is.
Flavia, forgive me.
I had no idea that you might...
That I would...
l... I only want you to realize
how much your life means to...
To your country.
To my country?
- And to your friends.
- My friends?
And to your cousin
and most loving servant.
What else matters?
Good night, Rudolf.
No, don't go. Not yet.
Stay a little longer.
But you'll be seeing me
every day from now on.
You may even get tired of me.
Good night.
No. Goodbye, Flavia.
What a day for you to remember.
I'll never forget old Mueller
at the cathedral.
He used to be the king's tutor.
He fixed his eye on you
and he never took it off.
I was certain the game was up, until
I realized that eye was his glass one.
By the way, Rassendyll...
...what were you doing
with the princess all that time?
Can't you even leave the king
to do his own lovemaking?
That's enough of that.
Are you ready to go, Rassendyll?
We must leave at once if I'm to have
His Majesty back here by daylight.
If anybody comes to see the king,
you're to say he's asleep.
- Yes, sir.
- Lf it's Michael and that doesn't stop him...
- That'd be awkward.
- So awkward that if that door's forced...'re not to be alive to tell about it.
- Do you think I would be, sir?
Good lad. Come on.
Rassendyll, I'm not much good
at speechmaking.
Well, we don't need one, do we?
- Well, you know what I mean.
- Yeah, I think I do, old man.
We have no time for sentiment.
In a few hours time,
I'll be plain Rudolf Rassendyll again.
You'll be lucky if you're not
the late Rudolf Rassendyll.
- Happy thought.
- I feel my head wobbling...
...every minute you're in the city.
In the old king's time, we used this more
often than any other door in the palace.
It saved many a royal head...
...and many a royal reputation. L...
Yes, come on.
No lights, eh? That's odd.
Thank you.
Locked. Here, take this.
The king!
- Kidnapped.
- Or murdered.
Michael's been in Strelsau all day.
Still is.
Yes, but that young devil Hentzau isn't.
I wondered
why I hadn't seen him all day.
That settles it.
Now they know everything.
Yes, they know everything,
but they can't speak.
They can't denounce us
without denouncing themselves.
Can they say, "That wasn't the king
because we kidnapped the king...
...and murdered his servant"?
Can they say that?
No. But that won't prevent them
murdering the king.
With you in Strelsau, they won't dare.
If they do, they're finished.
Can they kill him
and leave you on the throne?
No, you're asking too much.
No man could carry on
this masquerade indefinitely.
I've done everything I can
to help but...
Yes, I suppose you're right. You've done
everything that could be expected.
More than could be expected.
It's just that...
Rudolf is my king.
I have a feeling about the crown.
I suppose I feel about it as another man
might feel about the woman he loved.
He wouldn't like to leave her to her fate
without even a fight.
What will happen to her now?
- Princess Flavia?
- Yes.
If the king has been murdered, Michael
as regent will proclaim her queen.
And then... marry her.
She'd never submit to that.
Flavia is a princess of the royal house.
She'd have no choice.
She would expect none.
And will you stand by
and let that happen to her?
Will you?
His Majesty, the king.
Your Majesty.
Oh, I'm delighted to see you.
Rudolf, are you worried about something?
Worried? With you in my arms?
I was thinking there'll never be
another night like this...
...or another waltz like this.
I'll never forget tonight as long as I live,
if that's what you mean.
Nor will I.
Do you have to dance with
anybody else tonight?
I dance only as my king commands.
Well, then your king commands that...
Why do they all stop?
- You know the rule. Because we do.
- And you mean that...
...if we start, they'll go on?
- Of course.
If we go out on the terrace,
will they come out too?
- Of course not.
- Well, then.
- Let's go out on the terrace.
- Oh, not now.
- Later?
- Later.
That is, if we can slip away.
Oh, no.
I want that promise.
Come, we must dance.
- Not a step until I get that promise.
- I promise.
The British ambassador, newly appointed.
Do you know him?
- Yes.
- Let us trust in Providence.
You'll never get Providence interested
in this enterprise.
Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness...
...His Excellency the British Ambassador
and Lady Topham.
Your Excellencies.
Your Majesty.
Her Britannic Majesty
the Queen Empress...
...commands me to convey
her felicitations upon your coronation.
Be pleased to convey
our thanks to Her Majesty.
You may also add our felicitations
upon her jubilee.
Your Majesty, would it be premature
to congratulate you...
...upon Your Majesty's
approaching wedding?
Well, yes, it might be.
Rudolf, we should pay our respects
to His Eminence the Cardinal.
Amazing resemblance
to the younger Rassendyll.
Not the slightest.
Your Eminence
has greatly honored us tonight.
Your Majesty's subjects
already love their king.
I think they're impatient
to love their queen as well.
I'm grateful for the interest of the people
and of Your Eminence.
Graciously answered.
And now,
the preparations for the ceremony...
...of necessity are going to be
many and elaborate.
Would it please Your Majesty
to name the date?
Now? Tonight?
It was understood that the ceremony
would shortly follow the coronation.
Well, shall we say, in six months' time?
So long a postponement?
Your Eminence, there's an old proverb...
...which councils us against crossing
bridges before we come to them.
If Your Majesty would examine
that proverb...
...I think you would find it very difficult
to cross a bridge at any other time.
Well, I'm sure my cousin will understand.
Your cousin begs leave
to bid Your Majesty...
...and Your Eminence good night.
- Good night, my child.
- Lf you will excuse us, Your Eminence.
Flavia... promised to go out
on the terrace with me.
- Is that a command, Your Majesty?
- That's a command...
...but a very humble one.
Why did you ask me out here?
I couldn't let you go home
while you were still angry.
I'm sure you had excellent reasons
for what you said.
Oh, believe me, I have.
There are times when a man
might find it impossible to do...
...even what his heart
prompts him to do.
But I never could willingly
do anything to hurt you.
How can I believe you
when I don't even understand you?
Then will you believe this
without understanding?
I love you.
Oh, is it true?
Or do you say that because you must?
I love you more than truth
or life or honor.
Tell me, Rudolf...
...why is it that I love you now
with all my heart...
...when I never even liked you before?
- Never before?
It was at the coronation.
I looked at you and...
And that was the first time
you loved me?
You ask that as if you'd be pleased
to hear me say yes.
Would "yes" be true?
You seem so different.
I wanted you to be different
from the Rudolf I knew...
...from the Rudolf I didn't love.
And you are. And you aren't.
...if I were different,
if I were not the king...?
Why do you say that?
Could you still love me
if I were not the king?
In my heart there is no king, no crown.
Only you.
Flavia, I am not...
Your Majesty!
A thousand pardons, Your Majesty.
His Eminence the Cardinal
is waiting to take his leave.
We must not keep His Eminence waiting.
- Is anything wrong, Colonel Zapt?
- Nothing, Your Highness.
It is always my unpleasant task
to be the reminder of duty.
- Faithful Colonel Zapt.
- God bless Your Royal Highness.
But above all, God save the king.
God save the king.
The romance progressed
very well tonight.
You struck a good blow for the king.
What's to prevent me
striking a blow for myself?
Don't take it so. You're bound
in honor to play the king.
For honor? Have you left me any honor?
- Come, come.
- You forgot the human element, didn't you?
I'm a man in love
with a woman who loves me.
- You saw tonight. You heard!
- I did.
Then why should I ever leave the throne?
Could you expose me?
If you did,
you'd get Michael in my place.
I could marry her
and send the king and Michael...
- lf you did that, you'd have to kill me.
- What if I did?
- I could raise all of Strelsau against you.
- You could, but you wouldn't.
Then find the king. Find him!
Before it's too late.
Odd, a man not knowing
his own brother.
But I assure you,
they're enough alike to be twins.
You're trying to tell me
the man I saw crowned is an impostor?
Not your type of fiction, I see.
Too incredible.
But still, these things do happen.
I knew twin sisters once who...
But that's another story.
I see Your Highness isn't interested.
Shall I go to market elsewhere?
If what you say is true, why hasn't
the king been heard from? Where is he?
He's in a woodcutter's cabin.
Oh, by the way, royal blood is not blue
as most people think. It's red.
- I know because I had to spill a little.
- You've abducted him.
It's an old medieval custom,
abducting kings.
Only you could have carried out a coup
like that. What have you done with him?
Well, there's one thing we haven't
discussed. In fact, it's the same old topic.
In a cabin, you say?
But where, man? Where?
Now, why do people abduct kings?
For fun, Your Highness?
Surely there's always the little matter
of the king's ransom.
You can be the first man in the kingdom,
after the king.
- How much down on account?
- Ten thousand.
That's a poor price for a king and a crown.
- Twenty.
- Well, it's too cheap.
But I will admit he's a bit of a nuisance,
always whining about being chained up.
- How badly did you wound him?
- Not fatally, I'm afraid.
But the cabin is very damp, Your Highness.
He could easily develop pneumonia.
And let the Englishman reign
for the rest of his life?
- Could we ever expose him?
- That hadn't occurred to me.
But if the Englishman died first and
was buried in the cathedral as the king...
There are moments in your presence
when I feel myself an amateur.
This fraud is an insult
to the whole country.
Your Highness shows me
the path of duty.
It is the simple duty of a patriot
to kill him like a dog.
There are times, Rupert,
when we need the ladies.
Even in matters of state.
I'm about to ask a great service
of you and Antoinette.
Rudolf Rassendyll?
It couldn't be a bill from my tailor,
I suppose.
"If Mr. Rassendyll desires to know
the whereabouts of the king...
...let him come tonight at 2:00
to the deserted summerhouse...
...behind the wall on Boulevard Elphberg.
He must be alone.
If he neglects this invitation,
he may harm the Princess Flavia."
Oh, obviously a trick of Michael's.
They must take you for a fool.
Wait a minute. There's a bit more.
"If you hesitate,
consult Captain von Tarlenheim."
They must take me
for an even bigger fool.
"Ask him what woman would do most... prevent Michael
from marrying the Princess Flavia...
...and therefore most to prevent
his becoming king.
And ask if her name begins with A."
A? Antoinette de Mauban.
A French woman madly in love
with Michael. Of course!
- She'll lose him if...
- Where is the Boulevard Elphberg?
- Are you going?
- I am.
- Not without me.
- Good man. But no Colonel Zapt.
He'd have 14 different reasons why
we shouldn't go, all of them good ones.
Well, if the colonel
can't get news of the king...
...we'll get it for him.
You know this is a trap, don't you?
Three men are coming here to kill you.
Where's the king?
Before I tell you, I must have your word.
No harm to Michael.
Why do you betray him in one breath
and plead for his life in the next?
Think what you like.
Think that I just don't like murder.
Think that I'm just a jealous woman.
- Have I your word?
- Yes.
As much as I can give it,
if you tell the truth.
They're moving the king tonight, from
the forest to Michael's castle near Zenda.
- That's what I wanted to know.
- Wait.
If the castle is attacked, the king will be
killed. No trace of his body will be found.
Charming character, your friend Michael.
- Do you want my help or don't you?
- Yes.
- How do we rescue the king?
- Leave that to me.
You must have his friends at hand
at his hunting lodge on some excuse...
...boar hunting perhaps.
As soon as I can arrange an escape,
I'll get word to you.
How will I know
it isn't another trap of Michael's?
The man I send you
will have the mate to this.
Now go, and go quickly.
- And you?
- Lf Michael finds out what I've done... and I will not meet again.
Good luck in everything.
And to you with the princess.
They've come. They're too soon.
Mr. Rassendyll.
Mr. Rassendyll, forgive me if I interrupt you
at an inopportune moment...
...but I'd like a friendly word
with you.
I'm alone and unarmed.
It's Rupert of Hentzau. Don't trust him.
We can talk with the door between us,
Count Hentzau.
Will you give me your word
not to fire while we talk?
I give you my word not to fire
before you do.
Say what you have to say
from where you are.
As you please.
A truce, while I offer peace terms.
Fifty thousand pounds
and safe conduct to the frontier.
- Well, that sounds fair enough.
- Well, do you accept?
Give me a moment to think it over.
Get out of the line of fire.
- Count Hentzau?
- Your Majesty.
I hold you to your word
and accept your offer.
The money's in my pocket and there's a
good horse waiting for you. Come out.
I'd prefer you to come in.
It's less public.
- Do you mind?
- Not at all.
Careful, he'll shoot first.
What, after he's given his word?
In England that simply isn't done.
Open it.
What, when there are
three against one?
All right, I'll open it myself.
I regret that we have failed to keep Your
Majesty sufficiently amused in Strelsau.
I would've suggested a much more
varied program than just riding with me...
...only I was foolish enough
to believe that...
To believe what?
To believe you were serious when you told
me you preferred my company to the courts.
I should have known better.
But I'm sure after an exciting boar hunt... will be your old self again.
- Are you angry with me?
- Oh, and what right have I to be angry?
Last night you made me feel
that every hour away from me was wasted.
But boar hunting,
that's quite a different matter.
Do you think I want to go?
Of course you don't.
Your first duty is to the boars.
They would never forgive you
if you didn't hunt them and kill them.
Perhaps the boars will hunt me.
They might even kill me.
Doesn't the thought of my danger
touch you?
- Or do you weep for my danger?
- Oh, this is like you used to be...
...but not like the king I've come to love.
- Oh, my darling... you really think that
I would leave you to go hunting?
- Then you're not going?
- I'm not going hunting.
That is, not just for boar.
Then what?
- Rudolf, it's Michael.
- Indirectly.
- Oh, darling, you mustn't go.
- My sweet.
Shall I tell them I can't go because
we have an engagement to go riding?
- I won't let you go. Send someone else.
- What kind of a king would do that?
- But I don't understand why...
- And I can't tell you now.
But I will tell you the moment I can.
You believe that, don't you?
Yes, of course I do.
Forgive me, Rudolf, l...
I've behaved like a spoiled child.
You see, I've never been in love before.
Oh, my darling.
I really must go.
Stay here. Let me go alone.
No, don't turn.
If I see your eyes,
I might forget to be a king.
Rudolf, come back to me soon.
Shan't a man come back
to the loveliest woman in all the world?
A thousand Michaels
couldn't keep me from you.
But if I shouldn't, you'd never forget me?
You'd be a brave queen
and do your part?
Though my life be empty
and my heart dead.
You would do your part.
Put away those popguns
and take me to the king.
The man's got courage,
you must grant him that.
I'll grant him six feet of earth
when the time comes.
- No time like the present.
- No.
Your Majesty, Count Hentzau,
with a message from the Duke of Strelsau.
- Tell him His Majesty is indisposed.
- No, wait a minute.
Let's hear what he has to say.
Send him in.
Disarm him first.
- The play-actor in person.
- Hentzau!
Your Majesty, I bring you
your brother's humble greetings...
...and his hopes that you will enjoy
the boar hunting here in Zenda.
And his respects, of course,
to your two principal boars.
Well, what price the crown today?
The last offer was 50,000 pounds.
Do I hear perhaps 52,000?
You'd hear a much better offer
than that. In private.
Before we go any further...
...I must tell you I'm prepared
to give you a chance to escape...
...your thoroughly well-deserved end...
...on the condition that you yourself
return the prisoner of Zenda to me alive.
Mr. Rassendyll, do you
seriously expect me to believe...
...that you of all people
want the king back?
- You insult my intelligence.
- I see.
Then you've come
a very long way for nothing.
I hope not, for Michael's sake.
Oh, you've brought another
of his generous ultimatums.
I have. He doubles his offer.
A hundred thousand pounds.
I thought it would amuse you.
The fact is, between ourselves,
Michael doesn't understand a gentleman.
You and I, we do, don't we?
Rassendyll, you're a man
after my own heart.
You and I are the only two people worth
saving in this whole affair. Aren't we?
This is my plan for us. Now, listen.
Attack the castle boldly. Let your...
...friends ride at the head.
There's bound to be a little rifle play.
- Oh, unavoidable.
- Arrange the time with me...
I have such confidence in you, of course.
Michael will fall.
The king will already have moved on
to a happier life in the next world.
And your friends, if they fall too,
you and I...
...Rupert of Hentzau
and king of the realm...
...will be the only two left
who know the truth.
Don't you think we're being
perhaps just a little drastic with Michael?
Perhaps a little. But...
...I make it a point never to
trust a jealous man, don't you?
- Michael jealous?
- You know the lady, I think.
Oh, in the summerhouse. Yes.
But surely no woman in her right senses
would prefer the duke to you.
Women are never in their right senses,
thank goodness.
So you're doing all this for love.
How romantic.
Well, love...
...and Your Majesty's gratitude
throughout your long and happy reign.
Then, of course, you might turn over
to me Michael's castles and estates.
Oh, yes, of course,
we mustn't lose sight of those.
You never know
whose hands they might fall into.
Look what I offer you:
The throne and the princess.
You were planning on them anyway,
but this way it's sure.
Shall we shake hands on it?
Hey, Zapt, Fritz, listen to this.
Count Hentzau offers me the throne.
That is, if you two don't mind
being killed.
Their turn comes later, play-actor.
Yours comes now!
Guards, stop that man!
Play the queen, you blockhead.
Florence Nightingale!
O Woman! In our hours of ease
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please
When pain and anguish ring the brow,
A ministering angel thou!
Could I have some water?
You'll find plenty of water
down here, sire.
So even a king can be curious, I see.
Now, Jacob's ladder went
up into the sky, didn't it?
Well, this goes down into the moat,
but it serves the same purpose.
If this castle is attacked, there're
always two of us in the guardroom...
...just up those steps,
ready to shove you down Jacob's ladder.
Properly weighted, of course.
I'd like to be left alone...
...if your orders permit.
The audience is ended, Your Majesty?
Very well, sire. Try to get some sleep.
And may you dream of Jacob's ladder...
...with paradise at the end of it.
Oh, I've just done my best
to make His Majesty more...
- All right.
Your Majesty.
What do you expect to gain by this...
...except death?
Your admission that now,
your senses restored... have come to realize
the people would never accept a king...
...with your, shall we say,
all too human failings.
- What's that?
- Your abdication.
As soon as you have signed this,
a comfortable bed is yours...
...and the best of care until you're
strong enough to cross the frontier.
L... I haven't lived like a king.
But perhaps I can die like one...
...and not disgrace the crown I never wore.
A man here insists
he has a personal message for His Majesty.
- Says he's one of the duke's men.
- Have you searched him?
- Certainly, sir.
- Send him in.
- Lf only this is from...
- Quiet!
- What is it you want?
- I have a message for...
I am to tell you that a troop of
the duke's hussars arrives tomorrow.
If there is to be a rescue,
it must be tonight.
You may count on me, sir.
I am to lower the drawbridge
at two hours past midnight.
But the noise. You say the king
will be killed at the first alarm?
That is correct. Madame says
before the bridge can go down... of your men must swim the moat
and climb to her room.
- And then?
- Alone, one man might reach the dungeon.
That man alone
must hold off the guards from murder...
...until the others can cross
the drawbridge and get below.
Always two guards
on the prisoner, you say?
- Two by day and two by night, sir.
- Any other men who can fight?
Only His Highness
and Count Rupert tonight.
Three against six.
Well, tell madame that we'll be on
the shore at 2:00, waiting for her signal...
...then I will swim the moat.
The others will wait
until you lower the bridge.
Good luck.
But why three against six?
Surely we can take our men.
- We don't dare if the secret's to be kept.
- No, the odds are too great.
We must have help at hand if we need it.
Tell them to come.
Well, I think I should be
the one to swim that moat.
Right, lad.
We can't afford to lose both our kings.
You'll lose one king tonight,
whatever takes place.
If anything should happen to him
and not me, your game's up anyway.
I've been an impostor for your sake,
I'll not be one for my own.
No, Fritz, I swim that moat.
If we do lose you both,
what's to become of us who are left?
They'll serve Queen Flavia.
I would to God I could be one of them.
Go now. Give Mr. Rassendyll
time to hide in the passage.
Open the doors
and let down the bridge.
I hope I can work
the mechanism, madame.
I certainly hope you can.
The duke has retired for the night.
Hentzau is in charge of the guards.
I was hoping I'd meet that fellow again.
The crash of the bridge
will arouse the castle.
The guards'll follow the orders and kill
the king before your men can get to him.
- Unless...
- Unless I can handle the two of them...
...until my men get down to me? That's it?
- Exactly.
You see, I've trusted you, your word.
- No harm to Michael.
- We're all agreed.
It means exile, I'm afraid...
...but that's what you wanted, isn't it?
- Yes.
Down the steps
is the passage to the guardroom.
Across the guardroom is the door
to the dungeon and the king.
- What was that?
- It must've been somebody shutting a door.
Probably madame's.
- What's wrong? You're 10 minutes early.
- Duke's as nervous as a cat on hot bricks.
What's he afraid of, burglars?
- Is it true that he sent for more men?
- Yes, a whole garrison.
Let's hope he gives us
an eight-hour watch after this.
- Twelve hours is too long on guard.
- Keeps you out of mischief.
You run in and out as you like.
We've got to stay in that dirty hole.
I'm gonna make the rounds of
the doors and bridge before I turn in.
It was very careless of you
to leave your door ajar.
Very careless...
...and very inviting.
- Yes.
Come now, admit I've been patient.
And patience is a virtue I generally lack.
You never lack audacity, Rupert.
Had it occurred to you
I might not be alone?
I always accept the risks.
I'm prepared for them.
You really shouldn't be here, you know.
Of course...
...I shouldn't.
Always inopportune, Michael,
but always in time.
The moat can hold more than a king.
Not without making a splash that
would be heard all over the kingdom.
Michael? Michael.
I would never have betrayed you.
I did it only to save you, my darling.
De Gautet, Lauengram, rouse the castle!
De Gautet! Lauengram!
The drawbridge!
I caught a servant trying to lower the bridge.
Must've been bribed. Go outside, guard it.
You better be quiet and get some sleep.
Kill the prisoner!
I'll help you.
Cousin Rudolf.
- It's all right, Your Majesty. You're safe.
- Cousin Rudolf.
Mr. Rassendyll.
Thought you were more at home
with a knife.
My knife turned out to be
more at home in Michael.
We got in each other's way once too often,
just as you and I have.
May I trouble you for those keys?
Thank you.
You've settled Krafstein, I see.
Bersonin too, I presume?
I almost hate to see you join them
with only a bullet in you.
Wait a minute.
How do you know it's Bersonin I threw
into the moat, and not the king?
Oh, no. You've worn the queen's uniform
and the old school tie.
- You'd never use my methods.
- Oh, I don't know.
Faced with death, I might.
May I have a last cigarette
while we review the situation?
Half my kingdom!
For a match.
You've got your eye on Michael's castle
and estates, or at least so you tell me.
Yes. You found it very amusing
I remember.
I'm scarcely in the position
to laugh at it now.
Oh, I don't know.
At least this time you'll die laughing.
Thank you.
I can't get used to fighting
with furniture.
- Where did you learn it?
- On the playing fields of Eton.
I see how much I missed
by not going to Eton.
Nevertheless, you did them
one great service.
Yes? What was that?
You didn't go to Eton.
All right, this will be
your last fencing lesson.
Look out for your head.
Why not stand your ground
and fight?
"He who fights
and runs away," remember?
You wanna get to the bridge.
I killed a man for trying that.
- An unarmed man, of course.
- Of course.
It's beginning to sound
too much like the playing fields of Eton.
I'll return to fight another day too.
Goodbye, play-actor!
All right, stand by in the courtyard!
The king?
The king lives.
Do you know, it seems a hundred years...
...since I struck you in the face.
Please forgive me...
...and be my guide,
as you were my father's.
Thank you, Your Majesty.
And now, we mustn't keep him waiting.
I've tried to wear it with honor,
Your Majesty.
I can't talk very much yet.
You're my best and nearest friend,
Cousin Rudolf.
L... I wanted to keep you with me.
To tell everybody what you'd done.
But Zapt says the secret must be kept.
He's right, Your Majesty.
My work here is done.
Yes, it's done.
As no one but you could have done it.
L... I don't know
when I shall see you again.
- Lf ever I can serve you, Your Majesty...
- You could never serve me better, cousin.
You've taught me how to be a king.
Is she here?
- Does she know everything?
- Everything.
- What did she say?
- Nothing.
She wants to see you.
Your Highness.
I sent for you to thank you...
...for the service you have done
this kingdom and its king.
No one can know better than myself... conscientiously
you have played your role.
I love you. With my whole
heart and soul, I love you.
In all else I've been an impostor,
but not in that.
From the first moment I saw you
in the cathedral...
...I knew you were the only woman
in the world for me.
As I stand here now, I know
there never can be any other.
It would have made no difference
if I'd known.
It was always you, never the king.
Is it true that you're
going home to England?
Come with me.
I won't let them stand in the way
of our happiness!
- Lf only I could...
- Oh, my darling.
There's a world outside. Our world.
Think, you'll be free.
Free of these cares and duties... to live as joyously and ha...
What is it, Flavia?
I was born to these cares
and duties, Rudolf.
Help me to do what I was born to.
Help me to do what I must.
How can I, my darling? I love you.
But is love the only thing?
If love were all, I could follow you in rags
to the end of the world.
But if love were all, you would have
left the king to die in his cell.
Honor binds a woman too, Rudolf.
And my honor lies... keeping faith
with my country and my house.
I don't know why God
has let me love you.
But l... I know that I must stay.
Never to see you again.
Never to hold you.
My darling.
Your heart will always be in my heart...
...and the touch of your lips
on mine.
We'll meet again, Fritz.
Fate doesn't always make
the right men kings.
Goodbye, colonel.
We've run a good course together.
Goodbye, Englishman.
You're the finest Elphberg of them all.