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The Prince and the Pauper (1909)

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Tom Canty, an intelligent and partly educated pauper boy, a beggar, the son of a ruffianly father, bore the strongest resemblance to the Prince of Wales. One day Tom wandered near the ... See full summary »

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Title: The Prince and the Pauper (1909)

The Prince and the Pauper (1909) on IMDb 5.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Cecil Spooner ...
The Prince / The Pauper
Charles Ogle
William Sorelle
...
(as Samuel Clemens)
Mabel Trunnelle
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Storyline

Tom Canty, an intelligent and partly educated pauper boy, a beggar, the son of a ruffianly father, bore the strongest resemblance to the Prince of Wales. One day Tom wandered near the palace gates. Too near, thought the guard on duty, for he cuffed him away, and Tom cried aloud under the sting of his blows. Edward the prince, was in the palace grounds near the gate, and, hearing the outcries, made inquiry as to the cause. A courtier brought the answer. Edward had a gentle heart. There was misery in the cries of the lad outside. He ordered him brought within to console him. The prince's word was law. The pauper boy was brought before him. Never having conversed with a boy of the streets before, Edward retired with him to a secluded room and there both noticed the resemblance between them through an accidental joint glance in a mirror. The prince suggested the boyish prank that they change clothes tor the moment. No sooner said than done. Tom pranced about in the prince's royal raiment ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short

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Release Date:

3 August 1909 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El príncipe y el mendigo  »

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1.33 : 1
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Connections

Version of The Adventures of the Prince and the Pauper (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

A picture which is rounded and complete
7 December 2014 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the best work the Edison Company has ever done was shown this week in "The Prince and the Pauper," a beautiful adaptation of Mark Twain's well known story. The dual role was assumed by Miss Cecil Spooner especially for this production and it is needless to say that little was left to be done to make the dramatic quality perfect. Indeed, one can scarcely offer a criticism of any kind. The whole picture, including its photographic and tonal qualities, seems to be unusually good, rivalling most of the foreign work in this respect and far surpassing practically all that the same firm has offered heretofore. The title was especially posed by Mr. Clemens and shows that the picture was made with his full consent. To undertake to criticize a film of this character is not an easy task. The illustration of the story, or the pictured story, as it might be called, follows the text of the original as closely as possible. Of course it is never possible to make the story complete, but in this instance the scenes have been selected with more than usual fidelity to the spirit of the original and everyone who has read the story will be even more interested to read it again now that it has been seen actually moving upon the screen. From the scene where the prince takes the pauper into the palace and changes clothes with him there is not a moment that the thread of the story is lost, nor is there a scene which is in any degree obscure. The real prince, even in his pauper rags, is always the prince, while the few glimpses of the pauper, even though in the palace, surrounded by courtiers and clothed in ermine and purple, is still the pauper. Their origin cannot be disguised by what they wear. Perhaps this truthful interpretation is the best feature of the dramatic work. The designation by action is never so easy as designation by dress, and to carry this successfully through several scenes is an achievement of importance and one which may well be considered carefully by motion picture players. Perhaps in work of this sort lies the germ of all successful motion picture making. If it is possible to make characters speak, or show their real selves by action alone in one drama, it can surely be done in others, and that, after all, is the essential feature of motion pictures. Actions must speak. The word is not there to make explanations for weakness or failure of any kind. In speaking of the technical qualities of the film one must needs be liberal in praise. The staging has been done with a liberality which adds immensely to the richness and attractiveness of the picture and which makes it possible to realize the difference between the environment of a prince and a pauper. The changes in the toning of the film, from a warm brown to a cold blue, where the spirit of the picture seems to warrant it, is a pleasing relief from monotony, pleasing because it is well done, not because it is a change in color alone. The photographer did his work well. The development of the film must have been carefully done to retain the soft graduations of tone which add materially to the pictorial effect, and the printer took full advantage of all the opportunities that had been given him. The result is a picture which is rounded and complete and deserves something besides a run of a day and then relegation to the scrap heap before one-fourth of the theatergoers have seen it and before many have had the opportunity. – The Moving Picture World, August 14, 1909


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