The Prince and the Pauper (1937)

115 or 120 mins | Comedy | 8 May 1937

Director:

William Keighley

Writer:

Laird Doyle

Cinematographer:

Sol Polito

Editor:

Ralph Dawson

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

This was the first of twelve films in which Errol Flynn and Alan Hale worked together. News items in HR 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. MPH notes the film was released to take advantage of the publicity surrounding the coronation of British King George VI. According to HR, 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. ...

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This was the first of twelve films in which Errol Flynn and Alan Hale worked together. News items in HR 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. MPH notes the film was released to take advantage of the publicity surrounding the coronation of British King George VI. According to HR, 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.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
8 Apr 1937
p. 11
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1937
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
1 Feb 1937
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 1935
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 1935
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 1937
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
12 May 1937
pp. 5-7
Motion Picture Herald
30 Jan 1937
p. 55
Motion Picture Herald
17 Apr 1937
p. 42
MPSI
1 Jan 1937
p. 7
New York Times
6 May 1937
p. 23
Time
3 May 1937
pp. 25-26
Variety
12 May 1937
p. 12
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Billy Mauch
Mrs. Wilfrid North
Jimmie Aubrey
Frank S. Hagney
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Fill-In dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Dramatic version
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
James Gibbons
Spec eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Prince and the Pauper: A Tale for Young People of All Ages by Mark Twain (New York, 1881).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 May 1937
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
11 March 1937
LP7086
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
115 or 120
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2932
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 ...

More Less

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.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.