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The Mudlark (1950)

Approved | | Drama | 28 November 1950 (USA)
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, ... See full summary »

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screen play), Theodore Bonnet (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Queen Victoria
Alec Guinness ... Benjamin Disraeli
Andrew Ray Andrew Ray ... Wheeler
Beatrice Campbell Beatrice Campbell ... Lady Emily Prior
Finlay Currie ... John Brown
Anthony Steel ... Lieutenant Charles McHatten
Raymond Lovell Raymond Lovell ... Sergeant Footman Naseby
Marjorie Fielding Marjorie Fielding ... Lady Margaret Prior
Constance Smith ... Kate Noonan
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Storyline

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 Benjamin Disraeli is struggling hard to persuade the Queen to end her long seclusion. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

At last it's here! The story of the kid who wanted to sit on the Queen's throne! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 November 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Dreckspatz und die Königin See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alec Guinness' speech to Parliament, in the role of Benjamin Disraeli, is delivered in an unbroken, single take of nearly seven minutes of impassioned dialogue. See more »

Quotes

Wheeler, the Mudlark: [asking about going to meet the queen] Are you sure it's all right, sir?
John Brown: What?
Wheeler, the Mudlark: You're a bit sozzled, ain't ya, sir?
John Brown: Sozzled?
Wheeler, the Mudlark: Yes sir, you've been in the bottle a bit, you know?
John Brown: [rises to his feet a bit unsteadily] Only enough to keep off infection, laddie.
See more »

Connections

Version of Victoria & Albert (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Sung by Carolers during the Christmas season
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You'd think the casting decision was nuts....but it works well and the film is quite charming.
30 January 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When I saw that Irene Dunne was cast as Queen Victoria, I was ready to hate the film. After all, she seems about as much like this historical figure as Shirley Temple! There was absolutely no way they could make this work. Well, was I wrong...she was terrific and they managed to make her look like the middle-aged monarch. I was amazed.

The film begins on the filthy bank of the Thames River in London. Poor, wretched boys work the bank as 'mudlarks'--kids who will scour the shore for anything of value. This is much like the pathetic kids in places like India and Brazil who live among the garbage and scavenge for a meager living. A boy sees a cameo of the queen. He has no idea who she is but is captivated by how beautiful she looks. When he does learn it's the queen, he decides to go to Windsor Castle and try to see her. By some strange circumstances, he is able to make it inside and is eventually discovered. Where this fantasy story goes next is something you'll just need to see for yourself, but in some ways it's like another fictional story about the British monarchy, "The Prince and the Pauper". But it also has a bit of the Dickens touch--as there is quite an emphasis on social responsibility and the poor.

The acting is just lovely. Dunne is perhaps at her best, Alec Guinness is his usual amazing best and Finlay Currie, though not exactly a mirror image of the man he played (John Brown), was lovely as well. A great script, nice direction and quality all around make this a neat little fantasy film...and one that can be enjoyed by all ages.


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