The Prince and the Surfer

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The Prince and the Surfer
VHS Cover
Directed by Arye Gross
Gregory Gieras[1]
Produced by Steven Paul
Patrick Ewald
Hank Paul
Dorothy Paul
Written by Gregory Poppen (screenplay)
Mark Twain book
"The Prince and the Pauper"
Starring Sean Kellman
Robert Englund
Vincent Schiavelli[1]
Narrated by Jon Voight
Music by Erik Lundmark
Cinematography Thomas Harding
Edited by Dennis O'Connor
Distributed by A-pix
Release dates
  • December 21, 1999 (1999-12-21) (Video)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Prince and the Surfer is a 1999 comedy direct-to-video[2] film about a prince who switches places with a Southern California surfer and skateboarder. It was directed by Arye Gross and Gregory Gieras, and stars Sean Kellman, Robert Englund, and Vincent Schiavelli.


The film is an updated adaptation of the 1881 novel The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain set in Southern California beach culture, featuring a prince and, instead of a pauper, the skateboarding surfer Cash, who wants to be rich and escape his boring life. The Queen of Gelfland brings her son, prince Edward, to the United States, seeking a trade treaty; the young prince wants to escape his life, to spend time among the common people. During Edward's one permitted limousine ride near the beach, Cash skitches with the limo on its way back to the hotel, and meets Edward in his suite; the two hatch their plan to trade places, and separate. Unbeknownst to them, the evil Minister Kratski plots to undermine the Queen's efforts, and instead convert Gelfland into Golfland. While pursuing princess Galina, Cash learns of the minister's plan. Meanwhile Edward pursues Cash's friend Melissa, enjoying and enduring life in the suburbs. In the end, Cash and Edward reunite to save the day.


The film also featured uncredited performances by Timothy Bottoms as Johnny Canty, Phil Bowers, Jason Reid as Riff, Jon Voight as the film's presenter, and Denise Wilson as Tattooed Woman.[1]

Production and release[edit]

The film marked the directorial debut of actor Arye Gross.[3] Filming locations included Agoura Hills, Los Angeles, and Venice, California, USA.

It was released directly to video in 1999,[2] DVD in 2000 and 2004, rated PG for "brief mild language".[4]


Reviews of the film were mildly positive. Brian Webster of online Apollo Guide gave the film a score of 69 percent, calling the film "decent, but unspectacular family entertainment, with plenty of minor thrills and laughs for the eight to 12-year-old set." Though he found it to be predictable, with nothing to particularly recommend, he also found "no major failings". He granted that secondary characters were mere "stereotypes (including those played by the screenwriter and one of the co-directors)", but that the young stars had "energy and just enough acting talent to pull it off." He found Cardellini to be "a decently spunky Melissa".[5]

The Pound Shop movie review site relates that it is "fairly clear that this is a movie for the kiddies", but that it was "pretty unreasonable" to not have "one single instance of surfing". The reviewer found that the "stand out elements of this movie" include "Erik Lundmark’s Casio keyboard score. While clearly made with a very limited amount of time, and money, I feel it is one of the few movie soundtracks that really help move the film along." Also, the "banter between the incompetent security guards at the resort actually finds its mark every now and again as well," and overall, the acting was satisfactory. Summarizing, the review stated the film is "worth a pound."[6] reviewer Mark Deming gave the film two (of five) stars.[3]


  1. ^ a b c The Prince and the Surfer (1999). IMDB full credits (Verified complete).
  2. ^ a b TV Guide listing. Volume 50, 2002.
  3. ^ a b Deming, Mark The Prince and the Surfer review. (All Movie Guide).
  4. ^ The Prince and the Surfer at AllMovie
  5. ^ Webster, Brian. "The Prince and the Surfer". Apollo Guide. Archived from the original on 2007-07-12. 
  6. ^ The Prince and the Surfer. Mudwig reviews, Pound Shop Movies. Ian. November 13, 2005

External links[edit]