Best filmization of Mark Twain's classic, so far!
chad edwards | cincinnati, ohio USA | 09/13/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This sumptuous retelling of Mark Twain's classic tale of two young look-a-likes who switch places to see who has the easiest life is rousing family entertainment. Mark Lester(of "Oliver" fame) is consistently appealing in dual title role, and he receives solid support from other stalwarts like Charlton Heston, Oliver Reed, George C. Scott, etc. This is the best filmization of Twain's novel by far."
Lively escapist fare.
phillindholm | California | 12/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Prince and the Pauper" aka "Crossed Swords" is a lavish and lively adaptation of the Mark Twain classic. Producing the picture were the Salkinds, the father and son team responsible for "The Three Musketeers" films, as well as the "Superman" blockbusters. Released in England by Twentieth Century Fox as "The Prince and the Pauper" in 1977, it reached American shores (now distributed by Warner Brothers) in 1978 as "Crossed Swords" and with eight minutes of footage deleted.
Veteran director Richard Fleischer moves the familiar story along quite briskly, while still giving audiences ample opportunities to appreciate the handsome sets and costumes. The all-star cast is mostly impressive. Mark "Oliver" Lester is too old and stiff to give a truly authentic performance in the dual role of Prince Edward and pauper Tom Canty, but he doesn't spoil the film. Oliver Reed is a hearty and touching Miles Hendon, and Ernest Borgnine, fake cockney accent or not, shines as the pauper's cruel father. Charlton Heston perhaps overdoes the part of old King Henry, but how else can you play a character like that? Rex Harrison is smooth as an ill-fated Duke, George C Scott impresses as a beggar king, Raquel Welch looks stunning in her too-few scenes as Edith, Hendon's true love, and she beautifully underplays her part (though her surprising adeptness at comedy is evident here as well). The same cannot be said for scenery chewing David Hemmings, cast as Hugh, Hendon's evil brother, who forced Edith into an unhappy marriage. Among the supporting cast are such familiar faces as Harry Andrews, as a duplicitous Court Minister, Julian Orchard as a court fop, and Sybil Danning as Tom's mother. Two young beauties (Lalla Ward and Felicity Dean) appear as, respectively, future Queen Elizabeth and Lady Jane.
With a rousing music score by Maurice Jarre, perfect for a swashbuckler like this, and beautiful scenery photographed by the great Jack Cardiff, this is light-hearted, spirited adventure at its finest. Surprisingly, the film did not fare well on either side of the Atlantic but, like most period adventures, it has worn well. Incidentally, the DVD release restores the cut footage and includes a theatrical trailer and television spot (for the U.S. release) which compliment the flawless Anamorphic Widescreen transfer. [phillindholm]"
The Prince and the Pauper
Yves Daniel | Montreal, Canada | 06/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a excellent movie. It's a beautifull expression of human's behaviors. Through a wonderfull story, the most magnificent human qualities are expressed . Honesty, generosity and compassion are opposed to cupidity, malice and cruelty. This is the kind of movies that will make you again young in heart... if your not already. I recommend it to anybody that want to revive their humanity or rejuvinate a few year."
This is not the Errol Flynn version, but worth seeing.
Yves Daniel | 05/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is a 70's remake, but by the director who gave us the 70's version of the Three Musketeers, the Four Musketeers and Return of the Musketeers with Oliver Reed, Rachael Welch and Charleston Heston. This is almost a sequel with the same cast and director, but a different story. Lots of comedy (not all of it works) lots of swordplay. Not great, but well worth seeing."