The Prince and the Pauper (1937 film)

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The Prince and the Pauper
The Prince and the Pauper (1937 film).jpg
Directed by William Keighley
William Dieterle (uncredited)
Produced by Jack L. Warner (uncredited exec. producer)
Hal B. Wallis (uncredited exec. producer)
Screenplay by Laird Doyle
Catherine Chisholm Cushing
Based on The Prince and the Pauper 
by Mark Twain
Starring Errol Flynn
Billy and Bobby Mauch
Claude Rains
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Cinematography Sol Polito
George Barnes
Edited by Ralph Dawson
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s)
  • May 8, 1937 (1937-05-08)
Running time 118 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

The Prince and the Pauper is a 1937 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Mark Twain. It starred Errol Flynn, twins Billy and Bobby Mauch in the title roles, and Claude Rains.

The film was originally intended to coincide with the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1936. However, its release was delayed until the following year.[1]

The second theme of the final movement of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's violin concerto was drawn from the music he composed for this film.

Plot[edit]

In Tudor England, two boys are born on the same day in the most different circumstances imaginable. Tom (Billy Mauch) is the son of vicious criminal John Canty (Barton MacLane), while Edward VI (Bobby Mauch) is a prince and the heir of King Henry VIII of England (Montagu Love). One grows up in poverty, hungering for something better for himself and his family, the other in isolated luxury, with a strong curiosity about the outside world.

When they are youngsters, they meet and are astounded by their striking resemblance to each other. As a prank, they exchange clothes, but the Captain of the Guard (Alan Hale, Sr.) mistakes the prince for the pauper and throws him out of the palace grounds.

Tom is unable to convince anybody except for the Earl of Hertford (Claude Rains) of his identity. Everyone else is convinced that he is mentally ill. When Henry VIII dies, Hertford threatens to expose Tom unless he does as he is told. Hertford also blackmails the Captain into searching for the real prince to eliminate the dangerous loose end.

Meanwhile, Edward finds an amused, if disbelieving protector in Miles Hendon (Errol Flynn). An attempt to assassinate the boy on the instigation of the Earl of Hertford, who fears for his power if the real king lives, changes Hendon's opinion of Edward's story. With Hendon's help, Edward manages to re-enter the palace just in time to interrupt the coronation ceremony and prove his identity. Tom is made a ward of the new king, Hertford is banished for life, and Hendon is rewarded for his services.

Cast[edit]

Other works[edit]

The Prince and the Pauper is a novel by Mark Twain with Edward VI of England as the central character. This fictional narrative has been adapted to film a number of times:

  • The Prince and the Pauper (1909), a two-reel short that features some of the only known film footage of Mark Twain, shot by Thomas Edison at Twain's Connecticut home
  • The Prince and the Pauper (1915), directed by Hugh Ford and Edwin Stanton Porter; the first feature-length adaptation
  • The Prince and the Pauper (1920 film) (German: Prinz und Bettelknabe), a 1920 Austrian film directed by Alexander Korda
  • The Prince and the Pauper (1937 film), featuring Errol Flynn as Miles Hendon and Billy and Bobby Mauch as the title characters
  • The Prince and the Pauper (1962 film), part of Walt Disney anthology television series television series. It starred Guy Williams as Miles Hendon, and Sean Scully in the dual roles of Prince Edward and Tom Canty.
  • Crossed Swords, a 1977 film released in the United Kingdom as The Prince and the Pauper, starring Oliver Reed, Racquel Welch, Ernest Borgnine, George C. Scott, Rex Harrison, and Charlton Heston
  • The Prince and the Pauper (1990 film), an animated short starring Mickey Mouse
  • The Prince and the Pauper (2000 film), a television film featuring Aidan Quinn and Alan Bates
  • A Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper a 2007 film starring Dylan and Cole Sprouse

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer * Clifford McCarty, The Films of Errol Flynn, Citadel Press, 1969 p 54-55

External links[edit]