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In 1875 London, young Wheeler (who lives by scavenging) finds a cameo of Queen Victoria which he thinks so beautiful he risks his life to save it. Possessed of a desire to see the Queen, he slips past the Beefeaters and wanders about Windsor Castle, just when a state dinner is in preparation. Meanwhile, prime minister Disraeli is struggling hard to persuade the Queen to end her long seclusion Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The British and American versions of the film are quite different. The British version, viewed by the AFI Catalog staff, reports a running time of 94 minutes, while the American version, shown on AMC television, ran 99 minutes. The following crew credits do NOT appear in the American version: Margaret Furse (costume designer), David Aylott (makeup artist), Frank Bevis (production manager), Robert E. Dearing and Fred Fox (production supervisors), Bluey Hill (assistant director), Eric Wood (sound editor), Denys N. Coop (camera operator) and Cyril Hartman (historical advisor). The credit for W. Percy Day (special effects) DOES appear in the American version but, apparently, not in the British version. There are also cast differences: Irene Dunne's name alone appears above the title, with Alec Guinness listed first below the title (contrary to his contract requiring him to have co-star billing). Also missing are Edward Rigby (The Watchman) and Ronan O'Casey (Slattery) who are credited in the British version. These two, however, are in the cast list in the New York Times 1951 review, which usually reports only credited cast. See more »
The Mudlark is a story of a dark period of mourning in British history. So few love matches are found in the history of royalty that when one does occur, it's treated with great reverence. So it was with Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert who gave her a bunch of kids that have insured the succession down to today.
Albert died toward the end of 1861 of typhoid fever and Victoria went into an unusually long period of mourning. She boarded herself up in Windsor Castle, conducted her state business there, and made no public appearances for well over a decade.
Now it's the Mid-1870s and the monarchy is losing its appeal. Subjects like to see their ruler every now and then, but Victoria will not leave her seclusion.
All that is disturbed when a young street urchin played by Andrew Ray for whom the Queen has taken on mythic proportions has journeyed from London and crashed Windsor Castle, disrupting things pretty good. Of course security is breached, but Victoria gets a lesson in her duties and obligations as Queen.
Irene Dunne in her next to last big screen appearance plays a regal and imperious Victoria. A good supporting cast is led by Alec Guinness as Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and Finlay Currie as John Brown her equerry and companion. Currie is the best in this film, he fits my conception of Brown as the rough Scot who likes his drink, but loves his monarch.
An interesting tale of how the black veil of mourning for Queen Victoria is lifted.
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