The Prisoner

The Prisoner

Peter Glenville (1955)

U Certificate


Our Score
Alec Guinness reprises his stage role in this adaptation of Bridget Boland's play about a Catholic cardinal's encounter with an official from the totalitarian government that has arrested him. Frequently shown in close-up, Guinness superbly conveys the humility, isolation and commitment of a man who is fighting as much for his flock as for his own survival. Stepping in to the part of the Inquisitor, Jack Hawkins moves with equal expertise between genuine admiration for his adversary and the grim determination to break him. Yet, Peter Glenville's theatrical direction won't do much to persuade those without religious or political convictions to become involved.


Two Legendary Actors at the height of their careers face off in a film so controversial that both Cannes and Venice Film Festivals banned it. Following World War II, a strong-willed cardinal (Academy Award winner Alec Guinness, 1957 Best Actor; The Bridge Over the River Kwai) is arrested as a traitor to the state. His will is strong, but so is that of his inquisitor (Jack Hawkins), a seemingly ...

Cast & Crew

Cardinal Alec Guinness
Interrogator Jack Hawkins
Cell warder Wilfrid Lawson
Secretary Kenneth Griffith
Girl Jeannette Sterke
Warder Ronald Lewis
Director Peter Glenville
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteAvailable on: video and DVD