The Prince and the Pauper (1937) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Prince and the Pauper (1937)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Warner Bros.' rousing The Prince and the Pauper is the first talkie version of Mark Twain's fanciful mistaken-identity novel. According to Twain, young Prince Edward, son of Britain's King Henry VIII, had an exact look-alike, a lowborn beggar boy named Tom Canty. Weary of royal protocol, Edward talks Tom into trading places with him. As a result, Tom is thrown into a life-threatening vortex of political intrigue when King Henry dies, while the prince experiences first-hand the cruelties and inequities of Britain's class structure. The overlong climactic coronation scene in Westminster Abbey was obviously intended to cash in on the international excitement surrounding the crowning of Britain's King George VI in early 1937. Top-billed Errol Flynn plays soldier-of-fortune Miles Hendon, who comes to both boys' rescue, while Claude Rains is the scheming Earl of Hertford, who tumbles to Tom Canty's secret but goes along with the Coronation plans in order to advance his own political agenda. The Prince and the Pauper are played by real-life twins Billy and Bobby Mauch, talented veterans of the Let's Pretend radio show who appeared separately and together in a handful of subsequent films before entering the production side of the business as film editors.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By: , , , , , , , , , ,
Written By: Laird Doyle, Mark Twain
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 26, 2003


Bobby Mauch
as Prince Edward
Billy Mauch
as Tom Canty
Errol Flynn
as Miles Hendon
Claude Rains
as Earl of Hertford
Henry Stephenson
as Duke of Norfolk
Barton MacLane
as John Canty
Alan Hale
as Captain of the Guard
Eric Portman
as 1st Lord
Montagu Love
as Henry VIII
Robert Warwick
as Lord Warwick
Halliwell Hobbes
as Archbishop
Elspeth Dudgeon
as Grandmother Canty
Fritz Leiber
as Father Andrews
Ivan Simpson
as Clemens
Helen Valkis
as Jane Seymour
Rex Evans
as Rich Man
Mary Field
as Tom Canty's Mother
Gwendolyn Jones
as Lady Elizabeth
Sidney Bracey
as Man in Window
Tom Wilson
as One-Eyed Beggar
Lionel Belmore
as Innkeeper
Ann Howard
as Lady Jane Grey
Ian Wolfe
as Proprietor
Harry Beresford
as The Watch
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Prince and the Pauper

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

It's fine as passable entertainment.

Full Review… | January 14, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Smart Twain adaptation with plenty of derring-do

October 28, 2005
Film Journal International

Fairly fun Flynn.

January 4, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

June 19, 2005

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Prince and the Pauper


Okay version of story, rather lifeless until Errol shows up but thats about an hour in and its rather precious up to that point.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


There is either a mad prince or a beggar on the thrown.

Two little boys run into each other in the back yard of the palace. They decide it would be neat to switch places; the problem, one of the boys is the son of the King of England and the other is a poor boy. When the poor boy has to become the King of England because the king dies, their little game becomes complicated. Can the poor boy work with a local swordsman to find a way back to the throne?

"It may have happened. It may not have happened. But it could have happened."

William Keighley, director of The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Street with No Name, G Men, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Valley of the Giants, and The Match King, delivers The Prince and the Pauper. The storyline for this picture is fun to watch unfold and very entertaining. The script is clever and well written and everyone delivers a solid performance. The cast include Errol Flynn, Alan Hale, Barton MacLane, Claude Rains, and Henry Stephenson.

"One day I'll have your head for calling me that; or maybe your feet, they're more in the way."

This is a movie I DVR'd because it starred the great Errol Flynn. I found the movie fun and was surprised he didn't join the film until it was two-thirds over. Overall, this is a very entertaining picture that is fun and can be enjoyed by the whole family. This is definitely a classic picture that is underrated.

"The king is dead."

Grade: B-

Kevin Robbins

The Prince and the Pauper (1937) -- [7.5] -- Twins Billy and Bobby Mauch do very well as the title characters in this lavish production of Mark Twain's oft-told tale of mistaken identity. Claude Rains takes the role of villainy this time, playing an evil Earl who forces the beggar boy to be king for his own selfish gain, while Errol Flynn (at his dashing best) plays the soldier of fortune who helps the exiled prince to reclaim his throne. Beautifully photographed, with spectacular sets and a moving Korngold score, it's a film hard to resist.

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