Der Ruritanische Widerstand - The Ruritanian Resistance

Films 1: Silents

1913 (IMDb review)

Even in this early US version, the cast was rather, ahem!, mature, as a glance at the advert will prove. James K Hackett played both the Rudolfs and Beatrice Beckley Princess Flavia. The Scots actor David Torrence played Michael, with Mina Gale Haines as Antoinette. Frank Coulter played Sapt, and William R Randall Fritz von Tarlenheim. Walter Hale played Rupert. Tom Callahan and Frank Shannon presumably played smaller supporting roles.

Like Stuart Holmes (the 1922 Michael), David Torrence also played, at around the same time, another doomed young man from an 1890s novel: Alec in Tess of the d'Urbervilles. I can only boggle at that casting crime, too... (Now, if we were talking about Leigh Lawson from Polanski's 1979 Tess, I'd have been much happier at the idea of him playing the Duke...! Pass the strawberries...)

Advert showing cast portraits

Rassendyll on the drawbridge

1915 (IMDb review)

British film version, produced in 1915 by George Loane Tucker, and based on the stage version by Edward Rose (as were the 1937 and 1952 remakes). Tucker also filmed the sequel, Rupert of Hentzau, with the same leads. While 45-year-old Arthur Holmes-Gore looks as if he might more plausibly be cast as Colonel Sapt, it should be noted that he was still young enough to fight in the First World War. He was killed at Gallipoli the same year.

Rudolf V... or is it Rudolf Rassendyll?
(Henry Ainley)

Princess Flavia
(Jane Gail)

Michael (Arthur Holmes-Gore) gazes at Flavia's photo

1922 (IMDb review)

Excellent silent version - in the first half perhaps superior to the talkie versions in opening out the story cinematically. Colman's look in the 1937 version was clearly derived very strongly from Lewis Stone's in this. Ramon Novarro is the most malevolent Rupert. As usual, Michael and Antoinette are miscast age-wise: he should be under 27, she at least in her 30s (probably 40-ish), but they are always filmed as 'older man/younger woman'! Stuart Holmes and the tragic beauty Barbara LaMarr (she died of a mixture of TB, drink and drugs a few years later at 29) nevertheless give creditable performances and their relationship seems more convincing than in later film versions. There are, however, some annoying comedy touches with the servants Josef and Hans, and a bizarre addition to the plot with a dwarf assassin trying to kill Rassendyll... This isn't Petrine Russia! And why the station signs were in Cyrillic instead of Fraktur is boggling: Ruritania is a German-speaking, Catholic country...

1922 Gallery

Michael (Stuart Holmes) woos Flavia (Alice Terry)

Rupert von Hentzau

Rupert von Hentzau
(Ramon Novarro)

Rudolf V (Lewis Stone) & Josef

The Coronation

Sapt watches warily as Marshal von Strakencz pays his respects

Michael, Antoinette (Barbara LaMarr) and fellow conspirators

Rudolf V, with Rupert, Antoinette and Michael

Rupert, Antoinette & Michael visit Rudolf V in his cell

Rupert, Antoinette & Michael

Rupert watches Fritz greet Antoinette

Rupert watches Fritz (Malcolm McGregor) greet Antoinette

Rudolf Rassendyll
(Lewis Stone)

Rupert and Antoinette

Rupert pursues Antoinette

Michael realises three is definitely a crowd

Antoinette brooding

Antoinette ponders her future

Rassendyll v Michael

Rassendyll v Michael

Rassendyll v Rupert

Rupert cornered on the bridge by Fritz, Rassendyll & Sapt

Flavia & Rassendyll say farewell under Sapt's watchful gaze


1923 (IMDb review)

Rupert of Hentzau was filmed twice in the silent era. This Selznick version had a 'happy' ending, with Flavia renouncing the throne to marry Rassendyll, who doesn't get assassinated, and Ruritania becoming a republic! Rupert was played by the rather mature Lewis Cody, while Adolphe Menjou made an early appearance as his cousin, Count von Luzau-Rischenheim.

Flavia (Elaine Hammerstein), Fritz(?) & Sapt (Hobart Bosworth) on the drawbridge

Flavia, Rassendyll (Bert Lytell) & Sapt

Rosa Holf (Marjorie Daw) & Rupert (Lew Cody)

Rupert & King Rudolf at the hunting lodge (with Boris the hound)

Rassendyll & Rosa

Fritz (Bryant Washburn), Sapt & Rassendyll (Rupert's corpse just visible on left)

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The first cut won't hurt at all,
The second only makes you wonder...
- Propaganda, Duel