©2019 by Kingdom of Ruritania

PopuIar Culture Trivia

-MGM planned to make a musical version with Nelson Eddy and Jeanette 
MacDonald, with music by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, but it was never 
produced. 
-As a publicity stunt, Publicity Chief Russell Birdwell flew from Zenda, Ontario, 
Canada (named for the fictional kingdom) along with 12 residents, to the New York 
world premiere. He also had the mayor of Los Angeles start a fencing tournament. 
-A play, made from the novel, opened in London on January 7th, 1896. 
-When Antoinette de Mauban leaves the dungeon after caring for the imprisoned 

-Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. initially wanted the double role for himself and actually 
tested for it. He was devastated when it was awarded to Ronald Colman. Instead he 
was offered the part of Rupert of Hentzau and, according to David O. Selznick, 
"Nobody else stood a chance!" of doing the role as well. His father, Douglas 
Fairbanks convinced his son that it was a blessing in disguise, as it was the best part 
in the piece, and advised him on billing and costume. 
-In 'Salad Days', his first autobiography, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. said that when 
Raymond Massey told Sir C. Aubrey Smith, who played Col. Sapt, that he didn't 
understand his own part of Black Michael, Smith said "Ray, in my time I've played 
every part in Zenda except Princess Flavia, and I've never understood Black Michael 
either". 
-On November 2nd, 1937, the film opened the world famous Odeon Cinema, m 
London's Leicester Square. 
-The original New York production of The Prisoner of Zenda opened at the Lyceum 
Theater on September 4th, 1895. 
-David Niven and Raymond Massey who both starred together in The Prisoner of 
Zenda (1937) and A Matter of Life and Death (1946) both died on the same day, July 
29th, 1983. 
-In the Broadway musical Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks makes mention of 
Ruritania in one of the songs. King Wilhelm-Rudolf gave Mr. Brooks gave honorary 
knighthood for this mention. 
king, Rupert bows to her and quotes a poem. It's an abbreviated version from Sir 
Walter Scott: "O woman! in our hours of ease Uncertain, coy, and hard to please, 
And variable as the shade By the light quivering aspen made; When pain and 
anguish wring the brow, A ministering angel thou!" 
-Producer David O. Selznick was unsatisfied with the action scenes in the film, 
particularly the fencing, so he brought in director W.S. Van Dyke to reshoot them 
after principal photography was finished. 

 

Continuity errors in the 1937 film "The Prisoner Of Zenda"

-The sword fight in the castle of Zenda between Coleman and Fairbanks Jr. 
appears to be with rapiers, however when the fight is picked up again in the 
outside room the rapiers have become sabers (which was necessary in order to cut the rope 
of the drawbridge).