The Prince and the Pauper


2h 1937
The Prince and the Pauper

Brief Synopsis

Rousing adaptation of the Mark Twain tale of a 16th-century prince who trades places with a lookalike peasant.

Photos & Videos

The Prince and the Pauper - Publicity Stills
The Prince and the Pauper - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
The Prince and the Pauper - Lobby Cards

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Period
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
May 8, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Prince and the Pauper: A Tale for Young People of All Ages by Mark Twain (New York, 1881).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h
Sound
Mono, Vitaphone
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
13 reels

Synopsis

On the same day in 1537 that Edward Tudor, the son of King Henry VIII, is born in London, a poor boy named Tom Canty is born in the slums of London. As Tom grows, he studies with Father Andrew and dreams of a life apart from the beggers and thieves that surround him, while Edward, pampered by the luxuries of royal life, becomes curious about the real England. One night, when Tom hides in the palace yard to escape a driving rain, the two boys meet, realize there is a striking resemblance between them, and playfully exchange clothes. In the midst of a game, the Captain of the Guard mistakes Edward for the beggar-boy and throws him out of the palace. When the Earl of Hertford, the King's scheming advisor who hopes to be appointed Edward's Lord High Protector, discovers the switch, he seizes the opportunity to control the throne by forcing Tom to continue the pretense, allowing him to order the murder of the real Edward. The boy is befriended by Miles Hendon, a soldier of fortune who indulges the boy's "fantasies" that he is Prince of England. Soon the King dies, and Edward manages, with Miles's help, to escape Tom's vicious father, John Canty, and return to the palace. The coronation is in progress, but Edward proves himself by revealing the whereabouts of the Great Seal of England. Finally, the true Edward is crowned, Hertford is banished, Miles is recognized for his bravery, and Tom is made a ward of the court.

Cast

Errol Flynn

Miles Hendon

Claude Rains

Earl of Hertford

Henry Stephenson

Duke of Norfolk

Barton Maclane

John Canty

Billy Mauch

Tom Canty

Bobby Mauch

Prince Edward [Tudor]

Alan Hale

Captain of the guard

Eric Portman

First lord

Lionel Pape

Second lord

Murray Kinnell

Hugo

Halliwell Hobbes

Archbishop

Phyllis Barry

Barmaid

Ivan Simpson

Clemens

Montagu Love

Henry VIII

Fritz Leiber

Father Andrew

Elspeth Dudgeon

Grandmother Canty

Mary Field

Mrs. Canty

Forrester Harvey

Meaty man

Helen Valkis

Lady Jane Seymour

Lester Matthews

St. John

Robert Adair

First guard

Harry Cording

Second guard

Robert Warwick

Lord Warwick

Rex Evans

Rich man

Holmes Herbert

First doctor

Ian Maclaren

Second doctor

Ann Howard

Lady Jane Grey

Gwendolyn Jones

Lady Elizabeth

Lionel Braham

Ruffler

Harry Beresford

The Watch

Lionel Belmore

Innskeeper

Ian Wolf

Proprietor of thieves' booth

St. Luke's Choristers

Leonard Willey

Third lord

Tom Ricketts

Sexton

Harold Entwistle

Old man

Yorke Sherwood

Innkeeper

Noel Kennedy

First urchin

Billy Maguire

Second urchin

Clifford Severn

Third urchin

Harry Duff

Urchin

Fred Ellis

Urchin

Peter Ellis

Urchin

Leo White

Jester

Leyland Hodgson

First watchman

Colin Kenny

Second watchman

Ottola Nesmith

Lady in waiting

Mrs. Wilfrid North

Lady in waiting

Lotus Thompson

Lady in waiting

Raymond Lawrence

Lord

Edward Harvey

Lord

Edward Cooper

Presbyter

Charles Mcnaughton

Ugly man

Larry Dodds

Horseman

Will Stanton

Man in crowd

Sidney Bracy

Man in window

Elsie Prescott

Woman in window

Charles Coleman

Watchman

Jimmie Aubrey

Tramp

Ted Billings

Tinker

George Kirby

Proprietor of inn

John Spacey

Petty officer

Humbert F. Greenwood

Archbishop

Ernie Stanton

Guard

Jack Richardson

Beggar

Frank Benson

Beggar

Frank S. Hagney

Beggar

Eric Snowden

Cockney

Charlie Simpson

Cockney

George Bunny

Cockney

Daisy Belmore

Cockney

Frank Baker

Man at inn

Wilson Benge

Man at inn

Leslie Francis

Man at inn

George Broughton

Man at inn

Spencer Teakle

Man at inn

Peter Bronte

Man at inn

Cyril Thornton

Man at inn

Douglas Gordon

Rita Carlyle

Connie Leon

Doreen Munroe

Robert Cory

Jack Best

Claude Wisberg

Kay Deslys

Photo Collections

The Prince and the Pauper - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from The Prince and the Pauper (1937), starring Errol Flynn and Billy and Bobby Mauch. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Prince and the Pauper - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Warner Bros' The Prince and the Pauper (1937), directed by William Keighley.
The Prince and the Pauper - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Warner Bros' The Prince and the Pauper (1937), starring Errol Flynn. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Period
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
May 8, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Prince and the Pauper: A Tale for Young People of All Ages by Mark Twain (New York, 1881).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h
Sound
Mono, Vitaphone
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
13 reels

Articles

The Prince and the Pauper (1937)



The Prince and the Pauper (1937) is a classic adventure yarn, from the storybook opening sequence to scenes of 16th century palace life, royal intrigue and, of course, dashing swordplay between Errol Flynn and every miscreant who crosses his path. Based on Mark Twain's story of a youthful prince who exchanges identities with a pauper boy, The Prince and the Pauper stars Montagu Love (The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938) as King Henry VIII, Claude Rains (Casablanca, 1942) as the treacherous Earl of Hertford, twins Bobby and Billy Mauch as Prince Edward and pauper lookalike Tom Canty, and Errol Flynn as Miles Hendon, a soldier of fortune who befriends the prince and restores him to his rightful throne.

Directed by Warner Brothers veteran William Keighley, The Prince and the Pauper was released in 1937, coinciding neatly with the fanfare surrounding the coronation of King George VI of England. Because Flynn's price was considered too high by the studio, the dashing swordplay and roguish charm of Miles Hendon was almost portrayed by Patric Knowles (The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1936) or George Brent (Dark Victory, 1939). Both were secretly tested for the role. Only Flynn had the verve the producers required, and the job was his. Flynn arrived on the set in January 1937 suffering from pneumonia and a sinus ailment. As a dashing hero in knee breeches and silver sword, Flynn's performance is none the worse for wear. Off-camera, he entertained the young Mauch twins by teaching them practical jokes.

Playing to Depression-era audiences, The Prince and the Pauper weaves populist themes with fantasy storytelling. The lavish coronation scene that concludes the film is studded with extras, the St. Luke's Choristers choir, and sumptuous costuming.

Director: William Keighley
Producer: Robert Lord, Hal B. Wallis (executive)
Screenplay: Laird Doyle, based on the novel by Mark Twain
Cinematography: Sol Polito
Editor: Ralph Dawson
Art Direction: Robert M. Haas
Music: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Cast: Errol Flynn (Miles Hendon), Claude Rains (Earl of Hertford), Henry Stephenson (Duke of Norfolk), Barton MacLane (John Canty), Billy Mauch (Tom Canty).
BW-118m. Close captioning. Descriptive Video.

By Jessica Handler
The Prince And The Pauper (1937)

The Prince and the Pauper (1937)

The Prince and the Pauper (1937) is a classic adventure yarn, from the storybook opening sequence to scenes of 16th century palace life, royal intrigue and, of course, dashing swordplay between Errol Flynn and every miscreant who crosses his path. Based on Mark Twain's story of a youthful prince who exchanges identities with a pauper boy, The Prince and the Pauper stars Montagu Love (The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938) as King Henry VIII, Claude Rains (Casablanca, 1942) as the treacherous Earl of Hertford, twins Bobby and Billy Mauch as Prince Edward and pauper lookalike Tom Canty, and Errol Flynn as Miles Hendon, a soldier of fortune who befriends the prince and restores him to his rightful throne. Directed by Warner Brothers veteran William Keighley, The Prince and the Pauper was released in 1937, coinciding neatly with the fanfare surrounding the coronation of King George VI of England. Because Flynn's price was considered too high by the studio, the dashing swordplay and roguish charm of Miles Hendon was almost portrayed by Patric Knowles (The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1936) or George Brent (Dark Victory, 1939). Both were secretly tested for the role. Only Flynn had the verve the producers required, and the job was his. Flynn arrived on the set in January 1937 suffering from pneumonia and a sinus ailment. As a dashing hero in knee breeches and silver sword, Flynn's performance is none the worse for wear. Off-camera, he entertained the young Mauch twins by teaching them practical jokes. Playing to Depression-era audiences, The Prince and the Pauper weaves populist themes with fantasy storytelling. The lavish coronation scene that concludes the film is studded with extras, the St. Luke's Choristers choir, and sumptuous costuming. Director: William Keighley Producer: Robert Lord, Hal B. Wallis (executive) Screenplay: Laird Doyle, based on the novel by Mark Twain Cinematography: Sol Polito Editor: Ralph Dawson Art Direction: Robert M. Haas Music: Erich Wolfgang Korngold Cast: Errol Flynn (Miles Hendon), Claude Rains (Earl of Hertford), Henry Stephenson (Duke of Norfolk), Barton MacLane (John Canty), Billy Mauch (Tom Canty). BW-118m. Close captioning. Descriptive Video. By Jessica Handler

Quotes

Trivia

Freddie Bartholomew was originally considered for the central dual role. Instead, real-life twins Billy Mauch and Bobby Mauch were hired.

MGM bought the rights to Mark Twain's novel in 1935 for $100,000, but never filmed the story. Eventually, Warner Bros. secured the rights.

The coronation scene was on a set that duplicated Westminster Abbey and took seven days to shoot.

William Dieterle filled in as director when William Keighley got the flu. Similarly, photographer 'Barnes, George' took over as director of photography when Sol Polito fell ill.

Notes

This was the first of twelve films in which Errol Flynn and Alan Hale worked together. News items in Hollywood Reporter note that William Dieterle filled in for William Keighley when he was ill with the flu and George Barnes replaced Sol Polito while he was ill. Press notes in AMPAS files state that the twenty-minute coronation scene took seven days to film on a set that was a duplicate of Westminster Abbey. Time notes that six unnamed technical advisors worked on the coronation scene. Motion Picture Herald notes the film was released to take advantage of the publicity surrounding the coronation of British King George VI. According to Hollywood Reporter, M-G-M bought the rights to the Mark Twain novel for $100,000 in 1935 but never filmed the story. It was to have starred Freddie Bartholomew with a script by Howard Estabrook. Other versions of the Twain story include the 1909 two reel film produced by Edison and directed by J. Searle Dawley, Paramount's 1915 film starring Marguerite Clark in the dual role of the Prince and the pauper (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.3552), an Austrian film, Seine Majestat, Das Bettlekind directed by Alexander Korda, a Walt Disney version made for television and directed by Don Chaffee in 1962, another version in 1969, directed by Elliot Geisinger for Storyland Films, (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.3920), and Crossed Swords, produced by the Salkind Brothers in 1978 and directed by Richard Fleischer.