The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) Movie Script

Passengers will please to descend.
Passengers will please to descend.
Papers from all parts of Europe!
Inside for passport examinations, please.
What's this nonsense about passports?
Passports at the frontier, indeed.
There's some political unrest here.
- Special rates for the coronation.
- Special high rates.
All passports examined inside, please.
"Rudolf Rassendyll, British subject.
Object of visit, pleasure. "
What hotel in Strelsau,
Mr. Rassendyll?
Oh, I hadn't thought of that.
Better begin thinking,
if you don't wanna sleep in the park.
Report your address to the police
within 24 hours of your arrival.
That's regulations.
On second thought, I shall not go
to Strelsau until after the coronation.
I hope that doesn't offend you,
but I was born...
...with a natural distaste for crowds.
And I really only came
to your country to...
I beg your pardon,
is something the matter?
Of course, I know you don't dress
this way in your country...
...but you see,
we don't dress your way in England.
Package examination, that way.
Thank you.
Thank you for making me feel
so much at home so quickly.
Your train, sir. Your train is gone.
I'm not going to the coronation.
The best fishing is here... Pardon.
- And that's what I came for,
fishing, not coronations.
I don't like coronations
and I do like fishing.
Now, if you'll be good enough to tell me
where I go to get a fishing license...
Are you dumb?
I hope your trout take as much interest
in me as you seem to take...
...and I shall get some good fishing.
The devil's in nature!
Shave him, and he'd be the king.
May I ask your name, sir?
Since you have taken the first step
in the acquaintance...
...give me a lead in the matter of names.
This is Colonel Zapt,
and I am called Fritz von Tarlenheim.
We're in the service
of His Majesty the King.
I am Rudolf Rassendyll,
traveling from England...
...not so long ago
in the service of the queen.
- Rassendyll?
- Then we're all brethren of the sword.
Rassendyll! By heaven,
your face betrays you.
- You know the story, Fritz.
- Oh, yes, I had heard something of it.
So the skeleton is not confined exclusively
to the Rassendyll cupboard?
- Fritz! Where are you?
- Here, Your Majesty.
Confound it, I thought I'd lost you.
Who is this gentleman?
He's by way of being
a relative of yours, sire.
Relative? What do you mean, relative?
It is something for which you can't
entirely blame me, Your Majesty.
Who is to blame?
If I may hazard a guess, I would say
that the blame might lie equally...
...between your
great-great-great-grandfather Rudolf...
...and my
great-great-great-grandmother Amelia.
- What?
- Right, by heaven.
- The man's a Rassendyll from England.
- England? Rassendyll!
And since Amelia's time, sire...
...the Elphberg face crops out
on one of us every now and then.
Well met, cousin!
You must forgive me
being unduly surprised.
One doesn't expect to see doubles
so early in the day, eh, Fritz?
What are you doing here, cousin?
I must admit
that I may have been guilty...
...of somewhat the same offense
as our mutual ancestor.
- Such as what?
- Fishing in forbidden waters.
That's good, very good.
The man has wit.
You must come
to my coronation tomorrow.
I'd give a thousand crowns
for a sight of Michael's face...
...when he sees the pair of us.
But you don't know
my brother Michael, do you?
Well, I'm afraid, sire,
I haven't that honor.
We must arrange that he enjoy
that honor, eh, Fritz?
You shall stay at my hunting lodge.
And tonight,
we shall dine you right royally.
Our ancestors laid down some good wine
here in the lodge, cousin.
They little thought a bottle or two of it
would lay down for you.
All in the family. All in the family.
- I propose a toast, Cousin Rudolf.
- Hear, hear.
A toast to our ancestor, that scandalous
rogue Rudolph II, God bless him.
Hear, hear.
With your permission, sire...
...I propose that we also pay honor
to my great-great-great-grandmother Amelia.
- To great-great-great-grandmother Amelia.
- To great-great-great-grandmother Amelia.
- With your permission, sire?
- Permission granted.
- Another toast, by heaven.
- Toast.
- Now, let's see, who shall it be?
- For your brother, Michael, perhaps?
Michael? Why waste good wine?
No, I'll tell you a secret
about my brother Michael.
- He doesn't love me.
- No?
No. Michael thinks the world's all wrong.
He thinks he ought to be me,
and I ought to be he.
But let's not waste time about Michael.
Let's drink a toast to cousin Flavia.
Soon to be my bride and queen.
Hear, hear.
You know, it's a shame
you can't meet the princess.
Well, at least they tell me it's a shame.
I haven't seen her for years.
She and I didn't get on very well then.
Perhaps we shall now.
Oh, I certainly hope so, sire,
if you're going to marry her.
They say she's much too good for me.
She probably is.
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 a lot of drinking in my time,
I won't say I haven't.
But tomorrow... the cathedral...
...when they put the crown on my head
and proclaim me their king...
...I shall be their king
for the rest of my life.
Tonight, I drink with my friends.
My friend.
You know, I like you, Rassendyll.
You're a good fellow.
Oh, you're English,
but you're a good fellow.
I want to drink a toast to you.
Devil take it, why is there no more wine?
Josef! Josef!
It's my duty to remind you
once more of tomorrow.
- What, again?
- Again.
Why, so be it, you've reminded me.
Now sit down and have a drink.
- You have a duty, sire.
- 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 say that to me.
I served your father during his life, sire.
I question your right
to bring my father into this.
Your father knew his obligations
to the crown.
And I don't.
Is that what you mean?
He never thought of himself,
or of his own pleasure.
He never forgot that he was king.
By your leave, Your Majesty.
- What do you want?
- The 1868, Your Majesty. You sent for it.
Did I?
- Josef.
- Your Majesty?
I've had too much to drink.
- Better take it away.
- Yes, Your Majesty.
No, wait, wait, we have a guest.
Marvelous fellow. English.
Marvelous fellow, Josef, but can't drink.
I can drink. I'm the king.
Better go to bed, Josef.
- Good night, Your Majesty.
- Good night.
Sleep well, Josef.
Everybody, sleep well.
Everybody sleeps but the king.
I don't care much for your joke, sir!
You think it's a joke?
This is no joke, Englishman.
That was quite an evening, wasn't it?
- What happened?
- Josef found him on the floor this morning.
You didn't drink any of this, did you?
- No, not that I remember.
- No, I think you'd know if you had.
- Why? Was it drugged?
- It was.
- Well, have you had a doctor?
- No, none within 10 miles.
And a thousand doctors wouldn't bring
him to today. I know the look of it.
He won't move
for seven or eight hours yet.
- But how? Why? Who?
- Who else but Michael?
- Who else?
- Michael!
- His brother?
- Half brother.
Michael's mother wasn't
acceptable in court circles.
But this is fantastic. Impossible!
What could be on Michael's mind?
He wants the throne
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'm much older than you.
As a man grows old,
he begins to believe in fate.
Fate sent you here.
Fate sends you now to Strelsau.
- What?
- Sounds mad, doesn't it?
But without your beard I'll wager
you could deceive your own brother.
You must be out of your mind.
It's a risk against a certainty.
My dear colonel, I came here
on a fishing trip. I like to fish.
I'm a simple 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 would be a scene, wouldn't it?
Cathedral crowded to the doors.
Organ booming, I kneel to be crowned.
Then your friend Michael
steps forward and shouts:
"This isn't the king. This is an Englishman
named Rudolf Rassendyll!"
No, I'm afraid not, gentlemen.
Then Michael sits on the throne tonight.
And the king lies in prison or his grave.
After all, it would only be for a day,
wouldn't it?
By tonight,
you'll be safely across the border.
King for a day.
What would it mean if I fail?
Your life, and mine, and Fritz's here.
Confound it,
I'd grown awfully fond of this beard.
Well, I hope the crown's a better fit.
- What are we going to do, sir?
- Hide him.
We can't chance Michael's men
finding him.
- The cellar will be best. Pick him up.
- What if they search?
- Josef will put them off.
- I know, sir, but...
We're not playing!
Do you think I don't know the risk?
If they do find him, he's no worse off
than if he's not crowned today.
Pick him up.
- I beg your pardon, sir, I...
- One moment!
- How long have you been caretaker here?
- Ten years.
- Have you the keys of the wine cellar?
- Yes, sir.
Open it.
- No, no! No!
- Drink it.
- No!
- Drink!
Tie her up.
Better gag her too.
The night before your coronation,
you must have wine.
And wine, and more wine.
But you're my king.
The son of your father.
And may I rot in my grave
before Black Michael sits in your place.
Remarkable vintage, that '68.
Lock the door.
Sleep well, sire.
We go to see you crowned.
It's not bad, you know. Not bad at all.
There. The last detail.
Remember, that 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 congratulations.
A shade premature.
But thank you, Detchard.
Gentlemen, you will now go
to your respective posts.
The time grows near.
We go to serve our country,
and our future sovereign.
Michael, you said I would be your wife.
I want to be your wife.
I want to serve you and make you happy.
But I know that dream is ended
if your plan succeeds.
Take the happiness I can give you.
- Let your brother have the power.
- No!
All my life I've played second fiddle
to that weakling and why?
Because his mother was a princess
and mine was not.
I'm the eldest son,
but he was the crown prince.
He lived in the royal palace.
He dined with kings.
Well, today the table is set for Rudolph.
But it's Michael who's going to the feast.
Come in!
- I'm sorry to interrupt you, Your Majesty.
- Hentzau.
Your Highness.
Why aren't you at the cathedral?
Is there a hurry to go to the coronation
of a king who's not going to be there?
Do we want to make it obvious
we knew he wouldn't be coming?
We must be there.
By the way, the burgomaster of Zenda
is outside to pay his respects...
...and a deputation of loyal peasants.
I told them you were too busy.
They didn't seem to like that very much.
There may come a time, Hentzau...
...when your services
no longer excuse your impertinence.
I called at your hotel this morning
and they told me you were out.
Curiously enough, you were out too.
I'm glad you didn't lie to me.
I don't like women who lie to me.
They don't usually do it,
as a matter of fact.
I usually lie to them.
Somebody once called fidelity
a fading woman's greatest weapon...
...and a charming woman's
greatest hypocrisy.
And you're very charming.
Michael's very busy,
and likely to be more so.
I thought I heard His Highness order you
to your place in the cathedral.
So now you're trying
to put me in my place.
You know, I like arrogance
in a woman, at first.
It's always amusing to find
that the arrogance is only a defense.
But you don't need a defense against me.
I'm on your side.
I think Michael's treating you wretchedly.
What's he getting
out of this marriage of state?
An insipid, flaxen-haired doll.
Poor Michael.
The idea that His Highness
is marrying Princess Flavia... not up to your standard,
Count Rupert.
I'd heard you were more amusing.
- How else can he get the crown?
- He doesn't want the crown.
Those in his confidence know.
He wants only to be regent.
Of course.
But when Rudolph abdicates,
and Flavia becomes queen?
You can't put that off forever, you know.
A young, inexperienced queen...
...would naturally lean on her cousin
the duke for guidance.
So he's made you believe he wants to be
the man behind the throne?
Oh, no. No, he wants to sit on it.
And sit on it he cannot
until he marries the rightful queen.
I think it's shameful of him to
keep you in the dark like this.
But what's a marriage of convenience
to a woman of the world like you?
You want to hold him? Make him jealous.
Well, you'll have to fall back
on me for that.
I'm the only man in the kingdom
who's not afraid of Michael.
I, Rudolph, with justice and mercy,
to deal sovereignty.
To guard with vigilance and honor
the welfare of my peoples from all enemies...
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.
Stop shaking, boy.
They'll think you've got the age-olds.
A little too quick, but you'll do.
We're all right
till we get to the cathedral.
The princess hasn't seen him
for several years.
But Michael...
Well, I've told you all I can.
I'll be at your ear every minute.
Your capital, Your Majesty.
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?
Something went wrong. Go to Zenda.
Zenda? Why? He's here.
Find out what went wrong!
If only he'd drunk
what I wanted to put in the bottle.
Look now upon our most puissant liege,
Lord, Rudolph V...
...undoubted king of this realm.
If any man would deny our sovereign lord's
title to our lands and fealty...
...let him speak now,
or be a tainted traitor.
Receive the crown of the kingdom...
...and understand
what a glory of sanctity...
...of honor and bravery it signifies.
God save the king.
God save the king!
God save the king!
God save the king!
Guard thy side with thy sword,
O mighty one.
And be mindful
that kingdoms are conquered...
...not with a sword, but through faith.
I, Rudolph, with justice and mercy
to deal sovereignty... guard with vigilance and honor
the welfare of my peoples...
...from all enemies... 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?
All hail the king!
All hail the king!
Well, I think it all went off very well,
don't you, for a coronation?
Of course, I mean, that is,
a coronation should go well...
...if the king puts in an appearance
properly dressed and looks his part.
And sober.
Well, that was a nasty one.
By the way...
...among my failings,
I rather neglected you, didn't I?
Two picture post cards
in three years, I think.
And all the time you've been changing
into the loveliest princess in Europe.
No, the loveliest girl in Europe.
Your dynastic obligations
to the princess royal don't compel you... make pretty speeches
to her in private.
You call this private?
You really behaved
and looked like a king today.
Thank you.
Something, I must confess,
few of us expected of you.
- Haven't you forgotten something?
- What?
That's better.
Look, I have an idea.
Supposing you bow on my side
of this goldfish bowl...
...and I salute on yours.
Like that.
Now, isn't that more cozy?
They like that.
Bless them.
They're with you heart and soul.
Oh, it's you they're cheering.
I felt like doing it myself when I saw you.
I think we'd better go now.
They're waiting.
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 chance to say...
Say what?
It's enough to make any man
lose his head a bit.
I'm crowned king, I meet the loveliest,
most beautiful woman...
That isn't what you used to say. You used
to call me "tow-headed scarecrow. "
- No! I hope you slapped me.
- I did.
And once I kicked you, quite hard.
- Where?
- In the garden.
I deserved it. But I've reformed.
Almost beyond recognition.
You seem an entirely different person.
- I can't understand...
- Don't try.
Just stand there and let me look at you.
I really think we should go.
They're waiting.
Oh, are they?
Shouldn't have done that. Bad mistake.
Very encouraging.
The royal wedding is not far off.
Tell me, Rudolph,
what's the world outside really like?
Is it as wicked and exciting
as it seems in the novels?
What did you do on those long trips?
I mean, when you weren't drinking.
Oh, I used to go fishing.
Fishing? But you used to tell me
you despise fishing.
Oh, yes, well, I grew out of that.
Now I'm very fond of fishing.
I never got beyond
the hook-and-worm stage.
Talking of worms, do you remember when
you dropped a caterpillar down my back?
- I didn't.
- Yes, you did.
And glue in my riding boots.
But once you really hurt me.
You've forgotten, haven't you?
What did I do?
It was at my 14th birthday party
and I thought I was grown up.
Your father told you to dance with me.
You said you wouldn't,
that I was a beastly infant.
And when he insisted, you pinched me
all the time we were dancing...
...and told me how gawky I was.
I hated you.
I should have been horsewhipped.
Your Majesty, His Highness Duke Michael
is waiting to pay his respects.
Let him wait.
And furthermore,
Captain von Tarlenheim...
...your intrusion is decidedly uncalled-for.
Rudolph, is it wise to make Michael angry?
I'm the one that was interrupted.
Why should he be angry?
- Besides, I'm the king.
- He's probably furious.
A bad-tempered fellow.
Why worry about him?
It's you I'm worrying about.
In that case, I can afford to be generous.
My dear Michael!
I had no idea you were kept waiting.
Why was I not informed?
I am most scandalously served.
This is, indeed,
worth being kept waiting for, cousin.
You're more than kind to say so.
This was a day I've always dreaded.
Had a queer feeling
something might go wrong.
With you in charge,
it was foolish to worry.
Can't thank you enough
for the way everything went.
It's gratifying to find Your Majesty in
excellent spirits after the strain of the day.
Thank you, Michael. Never felt so fit.
Must be the excitement.
First time I've ever been crowned,
you know. It's rather good, isn't it?
- Very good, indeed.
- Thank you.
There's another reason I feel so well.
Had a remarkable wine for dinner last night.
Soothed my nerves, went right off to sleep,
slept like a top.
Came from right near your castle,
by the way.
You must try it,
in case you're ever troubled about sleeping.
I sleep very well.
Is that so?
You must have a very clear conscience.
I have.
And I've never yet had a dream
that didn't come true...
...if I waited long enough.
Really? How romantic.
Still, some things come true
that you've never dreamed of.
I see that I bore Your Majesty.
With Your Majesty's permission,
I bid you good night.
- Rudolph, be careful. He hates you.
- Believe me, I return the compliment.
But you don't understand.
He wants the throne. He'll stop at nothing.
Flavia, aren't you taking him
too seriously?
Rudolph, 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 I don't have to tell you
how different it is.
I've been unfair.
I only want you to realize
how much your life means... your country.
To my country?
- And to your friends.
- Friends?
And to your cousin,
and most loving servant.
- Good night, Rudolph.
- Don't go.
But I'll see you tomorrow.
What a day for you to remember.
I wouldn't mind being king
for 12 hours myself.
I'll never forget old Mueller
in the cathedral.
You know,
he used to be the king's tutor.
Fixed his eye on you
and never took it off.
I thought the game was up,
until I remembered it was his glass eye.
By the way, Rassendyll...
...what were you doing
with the princess in there all that time?
I mean, can't you even leave the king
to do his own lovemaking?
I only hope that His Majesty
will not disappoint her after you.
Never mind that.
We must get away at once...
...if I am to have the king
back here by daybreak.
Ready to start, Rassendyll?
If anyone comes to see the king,
you're to say that he's asleep.
- Yes, sir.
- Lf it's Michael and that doesn't stop him?
That would be awkward.
So awkward that if that door's forced,
you're not to be alive to tell about it.
Do you think I will be, sir?
Good lad.
I'm not very good at making speeches.
I don't think we need to, do we?
- You know what I mean.
- I think I do, old man.
We have no time for sentiment.
Come on!
Well, in a few hours
I'll be just plain Rudolf Rassendyll again.
You'll be lucky if you're not
the late Rudolf Rassendyll.
That's a happy thought.
By heaven, I feel my head
wobbling on my shoulders...
...every minute you're in the city.
In the old king's time,
I knew this way well. Come on.
No lights? That's odd.
Still drunk, by heaven!
The king! The king!
Or murdered.
And Michael's been
in Strelsau all day. Still is.
But that young devil Hentzau isn't.
I wondered
why I hadn't seen him all day.
Then that settles it.
They know everything by now.
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?
It still won't keep them
from 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.
Nobody could carry on this masquerade.
I've tried to help you all I can, but...
Yes, I suppose you're right.
You've done all that could be expected.
More than could be expected.
It's just that...
You see, Rudolph is my king.
I have a feeling about my king,
about the crown.
I feel about it much as any other man
would feel about his children...
...or the woman he loved.
He'd hate to leave her to her fate
without putting up a fight.
- What fate?
- Michael's abducted him. Who knows but...
You know whom I mean.
Oh, Princess Flavia.
With the king dead, Michael as regent
will declare her the queen.
After that, he'll marry her, of course.
She'd never do that. She couldn't!
Flavia is a princess of the royal house.
She'd have no choice.
She'd expect none.
But you can't let that happen to her.
Can you?
His Majesty, the king.
- Your Majesty.
- Delighted to see you, commisaire.
- You look troubled.
- Troubled?
After all these glorious days
with you? No.
I was only thinking there may never be
another night like this, another waltz.
We shall always waltz together, Rudolph.
I'll dance with no one
but you tonight, Flavia.
And I dance only as my king commands.
Then your king commands...
Why do they stop?
- You know the rule. Because we do.
- You...
- And if we start, will they go on?
- Of course.
If we walked out on the terrace,
would they do the same?
- Of course not.
- Well, then.
In that case,
let's go out on the terrace.
- Not now.
- Later?
- That is, if we can slip away.
- Oh, no.
No. I want that promise.
Come, we must dance.
- Not a step until I get that promise.
- I promise.
The British ambassador,
recently appointed.
Do you know him?
Let's trust in Providence.
You'll never get Providence interested
in this enterprise.
Your Majesty, His Excellency
the British Ambassador and Lady Topham.
Your Excellencies.
Your Majesty.
Her Britannic Majesty
the Queen Empress...
...commands me to convey her felicitations
on your coronation.
Be pleased to convey our thanks
to Her Majesty, Your Excellency.
And you may add our felicitations
on her jubilee.
Your Majesty, would it be premature
to congratulate Your Majesty...
...on your approaching wedding?
Yes, it might be.
Amazing resemblance
to the young Rassendyll.
Not at all.
Rudolph, we must pay our respects
to His Eminence the Cardinal.
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.
And graciously answered.
And now, our preparations
will require much time.
Will it please Your Majesty
to name the date?
Now? Tonight?
It was understood the ceremony
would follow the coronation.
Well, shall we say,
in about six months' time?
So long a postponement?
There's an old proverb, Your Eminence.
Something about crossing your bridges
before you come to them.
If Your Majesty will examine
that proverb... will find how very difficult it would
be 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.
You promised to go out
on the terrace with me.
- Is that a command, sire?
- That's a command, please.
Need you bring me out here, cousin?
I couldn't let you go home,
not after that.
I'm sure you have excellent reasons
for what you said.
I have.
There are times
when a man might find it impossible... do even what his heart
prompts him to do.
But please believe me...
...I never could willingly do
anything to hurt you.
I still don't understand.
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, Rudolph...
...why is it that I love you now
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.
Your hair is so beautiful.
I wanted you to be different
from the Rudolph I knew...
...the Rudolph I didn't love and you are.
And yet 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.
Dearest, does a woman
who marries without love...
...look on a man as I look on you?
Flavia, I am not...
Your Majesty!
A thousand pardons, sire.
His Eminence the Cardinal
is waiting to take his leave.
We must not keep His Eminence waiting.
- Is something wrong, Colonel Zapt?
- Nothing, Your Royal Highness.
It's always my unpleasant task
to be the reminder of duty.
Faithful Colonel Zapt.
God bless Your Royal Highness.
But above all, the king!
God save the king.
Well, 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, lad. You're bound
in honor to play the king's part.
Have you left me any honor?
- Oh, come, come.
- You forget the human element, don't you?
I'm a man in love
with a woman who loves me.
- You saw tonight. You heard tonight!
- I did.
Then why should I ever leave the throne?
Would you expose me?
I could marry the princess
and send Michael and the king to...
- If you did that, you'd have to kill me first.
- Well, and if I did?
I could raise all of Strelsau in an hour.
You could do that, but you wouldn't.
Then find the king.
Find him before it's too late.
Oh, the man not knowing
his own brother!
But I assure you,
they're enough alike to be twins.
You're trying to tell me
that the man I saw crowned is an impostor.
Not your type of fiction, I see,
Your Highness. Too incredible.
But still, those things do happen.
I knew twin sisters once that...
Well, 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, and by the way, royal blood is not blue,
as most people think.
It's red. I know. 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?
There's one thing we haven't discussed.
In fact, it's the same old topic.
In a cabin, you say?
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 about something on account?
- Ten thousand.
- That's a poor price for a king and a crown.
Well, it's too cheap. But I will admit
that he's a bit of a nuisance...
...always whining
about being chained up.
- You say you wounded him?
- Only slightly.
But the cabin is very damp, Your Highness,
and he might 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 dies first
and is buried in the cathedral as the king...
There are moments in your presence,
Your Highness...
...when I feel myself enamored to you.
This fraud is an insult
to the whole country.
Your Highness points out
the path of duty.
Any patriot ought to kill him on sight.
It can't be a bill from my tailor.
"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 the Boulevard Elphberg.
He must be alone.
If he neglects this invitation,
he may harm the Princess Flavia. "
It's a trick of Michael's.
They take you for a fool.
Wait a minute. Here's some more.
"If you hesitate,
consult Captain von Tarlenheim. "
They must take me for a 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 Maupau.
French woman madly in love with Michael.
Of course!
- She would lose Michael.
- How far is the Boulevard Elphberg?
- Are you going?
- I am.
- Not without me.
- Good man. But no Zapt.
He'll have 14 reasons why we shouldn't go,
all of them good ones.
And if he can't find any news of the king,
perhaps we can.
- It's locked?
- Note said behind the wall.
- How are you going to get back?
- You would think about that.
She's there. Alone.
Hurry, Mr. Rassendyll.
You've been trapped.
Three men are coming here to kill you.
Where's the king?
Before I tell you, I must have your word.
No harm must come to Michael.
If you're betraying Michael now,
why are you so anxious about him?
Think what you like.
Think that I don't like murder.
Or think that I'm just a jealous woman.
Have I your word?
Yes, as much as I can believe,
if you're telling the truth.
They're moving the king from the forest
to Michael's castle near Zenda.
That's what I wanted to know.
If the castle is attacked, the king will be
killed and no trace of his body will be found.
Nice chap, Michael.
Do you want my help or don't you?
I do. How can we rescue the king?
Leave that to me.
You must have his friends near at hand... his hunting lodge on some pretext,
boar hunting perhaps.
When I can arrange an escape,
I'll send you a message.
All right. How will I know
it isn't another trap of Michael's?
Oh, yes.
The man I send you
will have the mate to this.
Now go, quickly.
And you?
If Michael finds out what I've done,
you and I shall not meet again.
Good luck in everything.
And to you, with her.
They've come back too soon.
Pardon this untimely interruption,
Mr. Rassendyll.
I only ask a word with you.
It's Rupert of Hentzau. Don't trust him.
We can talk with the door between us,
Count Rupert.
Will you give me your honor
not to fire while we talk?
I give you my honor not to fire
before you do.
But I won't let you in.
Stand outside and talk.
As you please.
A truce, while we offer peace terms.
Fifty thousand pounds in English notes
and safe conduct to the frontier.
Sounds like a reasonable offer.
Come out, then. I have a good horse for you
and the money ready.
Just a minute while I think it over.
Stand back out of the line of fire.
- What are you going to do?
- I'll show you a new use for a tea table.
Gentlemen, I accept your offer, relying
on your honor. Will you open the door?
Don't open it. He may fire.
Shoot with a lady present?
In England, old boy, it simply isn't done.
Come on. My pistol's in my pocket,
and all my cards are on the table.
Open it.
Three men afraid of one?
- That door's locked.
- You're safe. Why are you laughing?
I've got a story for you and Zapt,
and something else.
- What?
- A pledge from a lovely enemy.
I regret that we don't seem able
to amuse Your Majesty here in Strelsau.
I would've offered you better entertainment
than just riding with me...
...but I was foolish enough to think...
- What?
- That just for a day or two...
...after last night,
you'd be happy without much gaiety.
I hope the boar hunting
will be more engrossing.
- Are you offended with me?
- What right have I to be offended?
Last night you made me feel
that every hour away from you is wasted.
But boar hunting, that's a different thing.
- Do you think I want to go?
- Of course not. It's the boars.
They're pining for you to hunt them.
Did they send a delegation?
Perhaps the boars will hunt me.
Perhaps, Flavia, they'll catch me.
Aren't you touched even by that danger?
Wouldn't you weep for my danger?
This is like you used to be...
...not like the king I've come to love.
My darling, did you dream
I was leaving you to go hunting?
- Then you're not going?
- Well, I'm not going hunting.
That is, just for boar.
Then what? Rudolph, it's Michael.
Oh, it's nothing.
It seems he's hatched a little plot at Zenda.
Against you? Darling, you mustn't go.
Shall I tell them that I can't go because you
and I have an engagementg to go riding?
- I won't let you go! Send someone else.
- And what sort of a king could do that?
- But I don't understand.
- And I can't explain yet.
But believe me,
there are reasons why I must go.
I'm sorry.
You see...
...I've never been in love before.
That's better.
And now...
...I must go, darling.
Stay here. Let me go alone.
Very quickly.
No, don't turn.
If I see your eyes,
I might forget to be a king.
Rudolph, come back to me soon.
Shan't a man come back
to the loveliest lady in all the wide world?
A thousand Michaels
couldn't keep me from you.
But if I shouldn't...
No, don't turn.
If I shouldn't, you'd never forgive me?
You'll be a brave queen,
and do your part?
Though my life be empty
and my heart dead.
You would do your part.
Put those toys away, children,
and lead me to the king.
Well, the man has courage,
you must grant him that.
I'll grant him six feet of earth
when the time comes.
No time like the present.
Your Majesty, Count Hentzau,
with a message from the Duke of Strelsau.
Tell him His Majesty is indisposed.
No! Let's hear what he has to say.
Send him in.
- The play-actor!
- Hentzau!
Your Majesty, I bring you
your brother's humble greetings...
...and his sincere wish that you enjoy
good boar hunting here in Zenda.
And his respects, of course,
to your two principal boars.
Well, what price the crown today?
The last offer from my brother
was 50,000 pounds.
Do I hear perhaps 52,000?
You'll hear a much better offer than that,
Your Majesty. In private.
Before you deliver another
of Michael's handsome offers...
...I've decided to give you a chance... escape your thoroughly
well-deserved end...
...on condition that you yourself
return the prisoner of Zenda to me alive.
Are you trying to tell me
that you actually want the king back?
Now, really, Rassendyll...
Then I suppose the next order of business
is Michael's proposal.
The duke offers more than I would.
I simply said, "Hang the play-actor
and save the money. "
Indeed. And Michael?
Doubles the offer.
A hundred thousand pounds.
I told him you'd refuse.
Between ourselves, Michael
does not understand the gentleman.
You and I, we do, don't we?
Rassendyll, you're a man
after my own heart.
Now, you and I are the only two people
worthwhile saving out of this whole affair.
Now, aren't we? This is my plan for us.
Now, listen. Attack the castle boldly.
Let your...
...your friends take the lead.
- Arrange a time with me...
- I have such confidence in you, of course.
Michael will fall.
The king, you don't want to find him.
You won't. That's been provided for.
If your friends should fall too,
well, then... and I are the only ones
who know the truth about what happened.
I, Rupert Hentzau and you,
king of the realm.
Aren't you being
just a little unkind to Michael?
Perhaps a little.
But I can't stand his jealousy.
- Jealousy?
- Yeah.
You've seen it.
Oh, the tea party!
Where you and your friends
got on the wrong side of the table.
- Well, surely she doesn't prefer the duke?
- Yes, silly creature.
So you're doing all of this for love,
are you? How romantic.
Well, love...
...and Your Majesty's gratitude
throughout your long and happy reign.
And then, of course, you might make over
to me Michael's castles and estates.
That's a very clever scheme.
It does you great credit.
Look what I offer you:
The throne and the princess.
You're planning on it anyway,
and this way is sure.
Shall we shake hands on it?
Zapt, listen to this.
Count Rupert offers me the throne.
That is, if you two don't mind
being killed.
Their turn will come later, play-actor.
Yours comes now!
Well, if at first you don't succeed...
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!
Water. More water.
You'll find plenty of water
down here, sire.
So even a king can be curious, I see, eh?
Now, Jacob's ladder
went up into the sky.
This goes down to the moat,
but serves the same purpose.
If this castle's attacked,
there's 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.
My audience is ended, Your Majesty?
Very well, sire. Try and get some sleep.
And may you dream of Jacob's ladder,
with paradise at the end of it.
Oh, I...
I've just done my poor best
to make His Majesty...
...more receptive.
At last you've the courage
to present yourself.
Sign this, and a comfortable bed is yours.
This historic document.
Your abdication.
I haven't lived like a king.
But perhaps I can die like one.
I will not disgrace...
...the crown I never wore.
Did you ever see England in the spring?
I know a little stream near Aylesbury I'd like
to show you two where the trout are...
It'll be a pity if we never get the chance.
God grant, you at least
can see your own home again.
I'm not sure
it can ever be the same again.
I know, lad. I know.
Come in.
A man is here who insists
he has a personal message for His Majesty.
- He says he's one of the duke's men, sir.
- Have you searched him thoroughly?
- Certainly, sir.
- Send him in.
- Oh, if only this is...
- Quiet!
What is it you want?
I have a message for...
Be faithful, and His Majesty will reward you
beyond your dreams.
You may count upon 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.
Before the bridge goes down... of your men must swim the moat
and climb to her room.
- Well?
- Alone... man might reach the dungeon.
That man alone
must hold off the guards from murder...
...until the others cross the bridge
and get below.
Always two guards
on the prisoner, you say?
Two by day, and two by night, sir.
No other men who can fight?
- Only His Highness and Count Rupert.
- That's three against six.
Tell madame we will be ready at 2,
waiting for her signal...
...then I'll swim the moat.
The others will be waiting
for you to lower the bridge.
Good luck.
But why three against six?
Surely we're going to take our men.
We don't dare, if the secret is to be kept.
No, the odds are too great.
We must have help at hand
to use if needed.
Yes, let them come.
I should be the one
to go into that castle, Rudolf.
Right, lad.
We can't afford to lose both our kings.
One king you'll lose tonight.
If anything happens to him and not to 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 climb into that window.
But if we lose you both,
what will become of us who are left?
You'll serve Queen Flavia.
I would to God I could be one of you.
And now he's alone in that devil's castle.
Takes the chill off.
Very thoughtful, Johann.
Rather damp, these old moats.
Are your men ready?
If a shot's heard before the bridge is down,
the king will be killed.
I understand.
Go now. Give Mr. Rassendyll time
to hide in the passage.
Then open the great 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've been hoping
I'd meet that young man again.
The crash of the bridge
will arouse the castle.
The guards will follow their orders and kill
the king before your men can get to him.
- Unless...
- Unless I can handle the two of them...
...until our men can get down to me?
You see, I've trusted you.
Your word. No harm to Michael.
We've all agreed.
It means exile, of course,
but that's what you want, isn't it?
Down the steps
is the passage to the guardroom.
Across the guardroom is the door
to the dungeon and the king.
What was that?
Oh, probably the castle cat.
What, and leave 10 minutes early?
That duke's just as nervous as a kitten.
He must expect old Zapt to bob up out
of Jacob's ladder in a diving helmet.
- Is it true, Hentzau, it's time for more men?
- Yes, a regular garrison!
Maybe the duke will give us eight-hour
shifts after this.
Twelve hours is too long a guard.
You can go in and out as you like.
We have to stay in that dingy hole.
I'll have a look at the doors
and the bridge before I turn in.
It was very careless of you
to leave your door ajar.
Very careless and very inviting.
Now, come. 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
and am prepared for them.
You... -
You really shouldn't be here, you know.
Of course I shouldn't.
I was only apologizing for your absence,
Your Highness.
The moat can hold
more than the king, Hentzau.
Is Your Highness threatening me?
Michael! Michael!
Why did I let them come?
Oh, Michael.
Oh, I only did it to save you, my darling.
De Gautet! Lauengram! Rouse the castle!
De Gautet! Lauengram!
The drawbridge! Quick!
Caught a servant trying to lower the bridge.
Must've been bribed. Go outside, guard it.
Quiet. Very quiet.
Kill the king!
Cousin Rudolf!
I'll help you. I'll help you, cousin.
It's all right now, sire. You're safe.
Cousin Rudolf.
Well, if it isn't the play-actor!
With his tin sword too.
You'll have no more use for that.
That's a pity.
When did you give up knives for pistols?
Oh, I left my knife in Michael.
He got in my way once too often.
I'll relieve you of those too.
You've settled Krafstein, I see.
And Bersonin too, I presume?
My compliments.
They tell me you rather fancy yourself
with a saber.
Why not finish me off
in a more sporting fashion?
You may as well face it, Rassendyll.
I'm not a gentleman.
If I were only some king's twin.
Well, I'm sorry.
I really am sorry.
How do you know I didn't kill the king
and drop him into the moat?
Oh, no. You've worn the queen's uniform
and the old school tie.
You wouldn't do that.
Why not take a look?
Well, what if the king is dead?
What's your offer? Talk fast.
Well, couldn't we have a smoke
while we're talking?
You mentioned something once about
Michael's castles and estates, remember?
You think you can buy your life
for a few old stones...
...and two provinces of mulberry trees?
- I suppose I'm not in a position to haggle.
- Scarcely.
Half my kingdom!
For a match.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Never mind that.
Touch, Rassendyll.
I cannot get used to fighting
with furniture.
- Where'd you learn it?
- That all goes with the old school tie.
Well, then,
here's your last fencing lesson.
Look out for you head!
Why not stand your ground
and fight?
"He who fights
and runs away," remember?
I see, you want to let
the drawbridge down.
Well, well, I just killed one man
for trying that.
- An unarmed man, of course.
- Of course.
You English are a stubborn lot.
"England expects that every man,"
you know.
Your golden-haired goddess
will look well in black.
I'll console her for you,
kiss away her tears.
- What, no quotation?
- Yes. "A barking dog never bites. "
You'd be a sensation in a circus.
I can't understand it.
- Where did you learn such roller skating?
- The Coldstream Guards.
When does the fencing lesson start?
Stand still and fight, you coward!
Bad-tempered fellow, aren't you,
underneath the charm?
Why don't you let me kill you quiet?
Oh, a little noise adds a touch of cheer.
I'm getting you even closer
to the drawbridge rope.
You're so fond of rope, it's a pity
to have to finish you off with steel.
What do they teach you on the
playing fields of Eton? Puss-in-corners?
Chiefly, not throwing knives
at other people's backs.
Come on, men!
This is getting too hot for me.
Au revoir, play-actor!
The king!
Stand by in the courtyard!
The king?
The king lives.
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, sire.
And now, we mustn't keep him waiting.
I've tried not to dishonor it, sire.
I can't talk much.
I wanted to keep you with me.
And tell everyone what you had done.
You would have been my best
and nearest friend, Cousin Rudolf.
But Zapt says the secret must be kept.
He's right. Let me go.
My work here is done.
Yes, it's done.
As no one but you could have done it.
I don't know when I'll see you again.
If I can ever serve you, sire...
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... What did she say?
She wants to see you.
Your Highness.
I sent for you to thank you...
...for the service you've done
this kingdom and its king.
No one can know better than I how
conscientiously you've played your role.
You even...
You're hurt! They didn't tell me.
My only hurt is the thought of the pain
I've caused you.
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...'ve been the only woman
in the world for me.
As I stand now,
I know there'll never be any other.
It would have made no difference
if I'd known.
It was always you and never the king.
Is it true
that you're going home to England?
Come with me. I won't give you up.
I won't let them stand in the way
of our happiness!
- Lf I could...
- There's a world outside. Our world.
And a throne for you,
a woman's throne, in my heart.
I want that.
And you will always love me?
Always, even as now?
Always, always.
Oh, my love, think. You'll be free.
Free of all these cares and duties... live your own life,
as freely and joyously as...
What is it, Flavia?
I was born for those cares
and duties, Rudolf.
Help me to do what I was born to do.
Help me to do what I must.
But my dear, how can I? 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.
My honor lies in keeping faith
with my country and my house.
I don't know why God
has let me love you.
But I know that I must stay.
I was mad to ask you.
For one lovely moment I, too, was mad.
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.