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The Prisoner

The Prisoner(1956)

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According to a November 1955 Daily Variety news item, The Prisoner was banned in Ireland for containing "Communist propaganda," and for the story's similarity to the imprisonment and confession of Cardinal Jzsef Mindszenty, who at the time of the film's release remained incarcerated in Communist-ruled Hungary. Cardinal Mindszenty (1892-1975) became internationally known in 1948 when he refused to let Catholic schools be secularized and was arrested and charged with treason by the Communist government. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released during the 1956 uprisings and granted political asylum in the U.S. legation at Budapest. Mindszenty went to Rome in 1971, but when he criticized the Vatican's policy toward Hungary, he was asked by Pope Paul VI to resign his primacy. Exteriors for the film were shot on location in Belgium, and the interiors were shot at Pinewood Studios in London, England.