The Prince And The Pauper

(1977)
The Prince And The Pauper

Starring Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Mark Lester. (PG)

 

Of the twenty-plus versions of Mark Twain’s classic story, including the Barbie version, Mickey Mouse cartoon (1990), the 1937 Errol Flynn movie and a TV one with Nicholas Lyndhurst (1976), the silliest – and most enjoyable – must be the 1977 version, known as Crossed Swords when it was released in the US. Directed by Fantastic Voyage’s Richard Fleischer, and featuring a star-studded cast including Oliver Reed, Ernest Borgnine, George C Scott and Rex Harrison (not to mention pin-up Raquel Welch and a hilarious Charlton Heston as King Henry), it’s a spirited swashbuckler as poor Tom swaps places with Henry VIII’s son Edward (both played by Lester) for a prank that gets out of hand.

While the various American accents clash and Lester seems a little old and uncomfortable for the dual role of Tom and Edward, this thunders along with glee, and Reed especially is terrific in his role as Miles Hendon. A rollicking adventure if you don’t take it seriously, brimming over with lavish costumes and thigh-slapping fun. 

Star Star Star

SCARY MOMENTS:

Younger children may be scared by Ernest Borgnine as the pauper’s cruel dad.

The Prince And The Pauper
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