Uncomfortably, I found 59 essays of the best films from the 1980’s a little daunting to digest right to the end, so I found a way of making sure I read the entire book to the last review. Glad I did.Continue reading
A respected film reviewer might have got a figure wrong, which was quite disappointing. This back in 1980, when there wasn’t all the possibilities that the internet has given to research and updating things. In his book, the reviewer said that there were four feature film versions of The Prisoner of Zenda as at 1979. The Oxford introduction to the Zenda novel tells us there are five film versions. But with the advent of the internet, IMDB has six listings of The Prisoner of Zenda. The reliable figure is probably IMDB’s. Does it matter? Yes, to film historians and film aficionados. Will there be another version? Probably not, unless it’s another parody, although even then I doubt it. Anyone who knows the content and material of the story–as described in the introduction of the Oxford World Classic–will know that it is widely outdated by now that would make film producers think twice before remaking it. Therefore, the figure of six film versions remains firmly of interest to specialists and buffs and may prove that the internet is a real source of digging up more information than what was previously made possible. But is there another Prisoner of Zenda hanging around somewhere? Maybe. Which speculates that the internet hasn’t yet found the seventh version, if there is one. Research can go on and on with new finds occurring when one least expected it. What does this say for research? Well, it may be never ending, which stretches the imagination into infinity. But will the earth survive the never ending story of research? Perhaps not. But the information that we’ve got that is true is of benefit and interest, somehow.