The Prisoner 1955
Jack Hawkins and Alec Guinness are the dynamite duo driving this intellectually daring and morally complex thriller forward.

The story takes place in some unnamed country in Eastern Europe, with characters likewise unidentified in the credits (though some are named in the film). As the story opens, The Cardinal (Alec Guinness) is arrested for "treason against the state." Aware of his influence as a popular religious leader and war hero, and fearing martyrdom, government leaders decide instead to discredit him. They assign The Interrogator (Jack Hawkins) to get him to crack, to confess to crimes he never committed, to wear him down psychologically to the point where he'd willingly appear before the public courts and destroy his own name. This begins a battle of wits between the two men.

The overall significance of Peter Glenville’s The Prisoner, a two-hander interrogating the rights of religious freedom and political expression, falls squarely upon the perspective of the viewer. Upon its release in 1955, the film was banned in Italy for being anti-Catholic, and while it was rejected by the Venice Film Festival for being anti-communist, it was banned in Ireland for being pro-communist.

Director: Peter Glenville
Cast: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Wilfrid Lawson
Country: UK
Genre: Drama

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:33:47 | 36.9 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

• Interrogating Guinness, a new video appreciation of the film by author and academic Neil Sinyard (23:49)
• Selected scene commentary by author and critic Philip Kemp (15:02)