The Prince And The Pauper (1937)

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 1937.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by , based on the play by , from the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Adorable adventure features a remarkable sense of time and place, the kind of period film that Warner Bros. excelled at in the late thirties and forties. Not as compelling as The Sea Hawk or The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex but just as opulent, the story is set in 16th-century England when Henry VIII finally achieves his dream of begetting an heir to the throne, his son Edward. Meanwhile, in the slums of London, another boy is born on the same day who is a dead ringer for the Prince. The two boys meet and switch positions for the day, but because of unfortunate circumstances are forced to stay in their false roles until a chivalrous gentleman () helps the disguised prince reclaim his throne. The Mauch twins (Bobby And ) portraying the leads are terrible actors, but they’re friendly and the direction is too bouncy and sturdy to let them ruin the fun. The moral purpose of Mark Twain’s original novel is not ignored here, nor is the film preachy in any way either. It’s a rollicking good time that will divert you completely until the end credits.

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