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The Whipping Boy
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Whipping Boy (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining Children's Film Full Of Fun & Adventure

Author: shark-43 from L.A. CA
20 December 2004

One of my daughter's enjoys Sid Fleischman's books and when I picked up this video at my public library and saw that he wrote it, I checked it out and brought it home. It is very well made and both my children (ages 5 and 9) LOVED it. The performances of the children are solid and strong. The veteran character actors who show up (George C. Scott, Kevin Conway and Vincent Schiavelli) really give nice performances instead of just phoning it in, like, oh, I'm in some kiddie flick, who cares? They give it their all as does everyone else - the costumes, the hair, the direction, all top quality and the movie is a delight.If you have kids and have a chance to track this down, do it. If your kids like adventure films, like Treasure Island or Prince and The Pauper, they should love this one!

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Funny family adventure

Author: vchimpanzee
28 April 2005

In Europe at a time when men of the aristocracy wear powdered wigs and Leonardo da Vinci has figured out man can fly, Jemmy lives on the street with his sister Molly. He makes a living by catching rats and selling them to Blind George, who can see out of one eye. Horace is a prince and heir to the throne, and he apparently does not have to live by any rules. Because he is bored and he believes his parents ignore him, he goes through the town creating havoc and never gets punished.

Well, that's not entirely true. If his parents believe Horace needs to be punished, a 'Whipping Boy' will take the spankings. Jemmy is chosen for that duty. Meanwhile, his sister is put in a sort of prison and Jemmy wants to get her out.

Despite the fact that he is to take over the throne someday, Horace refuses to learn anything from his tutor, who discovers that Jemmy is more educated than the prince and also eager to learn more. When Jemmy's mother was still alive, she valued education.

Because they are both unhappy, Jemmy and Horace eventually run away and have a series of adventures. Meanwhile, there is a dispute between the kingdom where Horace lives and a neighboring country, and the boys' disappearance doesn't help matters.

Cutwater and Hold-Your-Nose-Billy are among the funnier villains in this movie. There is also a dancing bear named Petunia, who is cared for by a gypsy girl named Betsy who becomes the boys' friend.

This is a funny family movie with good performances by many of the leading actors, especially the adults. There is little here to concern parents. Cutwater and Billy are a little scary but not really anything to be worried about. If you don't like 'Fear Factor', you may be bothered by some scenes with rats.

Overall, this was a fun adventure.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great adaptation!

Author: Anya-fan from Michigan
28 September 1999

This adaptation of the popular children's book, The Whipping Boy, succeeds very well!

I enjoyed the entire movie from beginning to end - it stays very close to the story, with an extra element or two added in. These do not divert from the original story but simply add to it.

The story is well-acted and authentic, the villains and the children are good fun. If you like a light but moving story, this is the movie for you!

A special note is that Max Brindle, credited for writing the screenplay, is actually a pseudonym for Sid Fleischman, author of The Whipping Boy. (See The Abracadabra Kid, Sid Fleischman's autobiography.)

Enjoy the movie! Although it was made for television, you can find it on video.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

" During the time you've been a Prince, you've become good at nothing "

Author: thinker1691 from USA
2 March 2013

Albert Fleischman wrote the book and the Screen play for this movie. He did an excellent job as little was changed in the film version. Indeed, one can read the book and realize the screen adaption is nearly identical. Moreover, the casting of Truan Munro and Nic Knight as Prince Horace was a stroke of luck. Moreover, with Kevin Conway and Vincent Schiavelli providing the comedic humor, it allowed the film to sail unhindered and provided an atmosphere of frivolity for the entire family. It is interesting, the easiest actor to point out, namely George C. Scott was relegated to a bit part. The story as told here concerns a young prince (Nic Knight) who's bored with being the heir apparent and is angry at his father's inattention. Believing he is not wanted and considered a nuisance for all of his pranks, decides to escape the palace. Running away, he takes the court 'Whipping Boy' (Truan Munro) as a companion. Both are soon kidnapped by a couple of inept would-be-thieves who soon learn of the huge reward offered for them, plan to win it. The film proves exceptional, fun family entertainment and worthy of the Disney brand. Easily recommended. ****

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A family adventure that could use more attention

Author: Electrified_Voltage from Guelph, Ontario, Canada
12 August 2008

I caught a bit of this made-for-TV adaptation of "The Whipping Boy", the children's novel by Sid Fleischman, perhaps when it first aired. Later, while I was still in elementary school, and studying the Middle Ages for a while, I was assigned to read and study the book. Eventually, a day came when we all had to come to school dressed as medieval figures (I dressed as a king), and that day, we were shown this made-for-TV movie, so that was when I got to see the entire thing. Over eleven years later, I've finally seen it again, which I certainly don't regret.

Prince Horace is a spoiled, mischievous young prince who loves to cause trouble and pull pranks, and is very unpunctual. Jemmy and Annyrose are two poor, orphaned siblings who catch rats. Not long after a confrontation between the prince and the two siblings, Jemmy is captured one day while his sister is not in sight, and taken to the castle! Being heir to the throne, the prince cannot be spanked, and has a "whipping boy" to take beatings whenever the prince misbehaves! Jemmy has been chosen as Prince Horace's new whipping boy, so, now captive in the castle, he is the one who is punished for the spoiled prince's wrongdoings. Meanwhile, Annyrose has been wrongfully accused of theft, and has been sentenced to prison! One night, Jemmy and Prince Horace, who are both unhappy for different reasons, run away together, and are soon captured by two criminals known as Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater!

This adaptation of the book obviously isn't exactly the same, but from what I remember about the popular children's novel, this 1995 made-for-TV movie follows it quite well, with the mischievous Prince Horace and his "whipping boy", Jemmy, on an adventure where the prince has some valuable lessons to learn. I'm not sure how much I liked this TV version of "The Whipping Boy" the first time, but watching it again after all these years was an intriguing experience for the most part. It's a family adventure film with some rather moving, serious parts, as well as some humour. The story also has a good moral about child neglect, which Prince Horace is a victim of, and as for the "whipping boy" aspect, that was one of the things I learned about while studying the Middle Ages in elementary school all those years ago. Yes, the story is fictional, but misbehaving young princes really did have "whipping boys" to take their punishments for them centuries ago, as absurd as it may sound, which I remember was pointed out in a note on the last page of Fleischman's book!

Back when I first saw this movie, I didn't know it was a TV movie, not a theatrical one. I didn't know that until years later, when I looked the film up on IMDb, and that was also when I discovered that it apparently wasn't too widely recognized. After finally seeing it again, I would say it deserves more recognition, and would have worked on the silver screen. Unfortunately, this adaptation of Sid Fleischman's children's novel seems to be pretty rare now, but if you like family-friendly films that take place centuries ago, ones that both seriousness and humour, as well as morals, it could be worth searching for. It may not be the greatest film of its kind, but if you ask me, it certainly isn't strictly for kids, and could probably reach quite a wide audience if only more people heard of it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Great Family Movie

Author: trixie-k-88 from United States
1 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Remember when Disney made good movies? And actually treated child viewers like they could think? Do you miss those days every time you see Miley Cyrus and those twins from Big Daddy? Then look no further! The Whipping Boy is one of those movies both adults and children can truly enjoy. It tells the story of two very different pre-teen boys in the German kingdom of Brandenberg. Jemmy is a tenacious orphan who catches rats to support himself and his younger sister Annyrose. Horace is the mean-spirited prince who entertains himself by causing mischief and embarrassment or pain to other people. After refusing to give the prince a cage of rats for free, Jemmy is captured by Horace's servants to become his whipping boy. Horace is angered and dismayed when Jemmy shows him no respect, and disobeys his orders to cry and scream when he is whipped for Horace's purposeful transgressions. Jemmy is determined to escape the castle to take care of his sister, and refuses to give Horace the satisfaction of seeing him cry.

Meanwhile, Jemmy's sister Annyrose is running out of rent money and devastated at her brother's disappearance. While trying to ask for help to read a letter he sent her, she is falsely accused of theft and sent to prison. Horace's father the king is also very busy sorting out boundary issues with a neighboring kingdom. So busy that he never has a moment for Horace, and continually breaks promises to spend time with him. After Jemmy discovers Annyrose's imprisonment, and Horace's father loses his temper, the two boys decide to put their differences aside and run away together. On their journey the boys encounter kidnappers, a bear, a gypsy, and a potato salesman. More importantly, the two boys bond and develop a truly believable friendship. They learn that both has his own struggles and difficulties in life, and that they can help each other through that. The kids aren't the only ones who end up learning a lesson, and both boys' families and the entire kingdom are all better in the end.

The Whipping Boy is truly a gem of a movie. It's the kind of film that entertains and teaches a lesson, without beating the viewer over the head with it. It feels no need to dumb down the plot, nor water down the abuse simply because it is for children. Despite its 18th century atmosphere, the characters are realistic and easy to relate to. It teaches some of life's most important lessons: everyone has problems no matter how much(or little)money they have, children need to learn empathy and have discipline, and pay attention to your children. This is what every children's movie should strive to be.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of my fav. movies!

Author: (youdontdontreallymeanit) from United States
15 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is delightful. Although the book is action-packed and has a quick, good story line, this movie REALLY delivers. The characters are more fleshed out, especially my favourite, Prince Horace.

This movie is a must-have for baby-sitting and inquiring minds. There are great messages about kids being lonely, kids feeling angry at their parents, and death of parents. The movie is a little corny with its humour, but the serious parts really work.

Nic Knight is as great as usual as a brat, but he gets depth as Horace! (See 'Jane Eyre' also, he's a great John Reed!) Please order this movie today!

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