Poor boy Tom Canty and Edward, Prince of Wales exchange identities, but events force the pair to experience each other's lives as well.


Richard Fleischer


Berta Domínguez D. (original screenplay) (as Berta Dominguez D.), Pierre Spengler (screenplay) | 2 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Oliver Reed ... Miles Hendon
Raquel Welch ... Lady Edith
Mark Lester ... Edward / Tom
Ernest Borgnine ... John Canty
George C. Scott ... Ruffler
Rex Harrison ... The Duke of Norfolk
David Hemmings ... Hugh Hendon
Harry Andrews ... Hertford
Julian Orchard ... St.John
Murray Melvin ... Prince's Dresser
Lalla Ward ... Princess Elizabeth
Felicity Dean ... Lady Jane
Sybil Danning ... Mother Canty
Graham Stark ... Jester
Preston Lockwood Preston Lockwood ... Father Andrew


Tom Canty (Mark Lester) is a poor English boy who bears a remarkable resemblance to Edward, Prince of Wales (Mark Lester) and son of King Henry VIII (Charlton Heston). The two boys meet and decide to play a joke on the court by dressing in each other's clothes, but the plan goes awry when they are separated and each must live the other's life. Written by Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Another rollicking adventure from the creators of The Three Musketeers.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Knight of the Garter, and Earl Marshal of England (1473 - 1554), portrayed by Sir Rex Harrison, was a real-life Tudor period politician. He was also the uncle of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, two of the six wives of King Henry VIII. Norfolk had a major role in the drama and arrangements behind both marriages. Norfolk fell out of favor with King Henry VIII in 1546, when he was stripped of his titles and imprisoned in the Tower of London. However, soon after his imprisonment, Henry VIII died, and Norfolk was able to cheat trial and execution, being finally released on the accession of Edward VI's oldest sister, Queen Mary I. He was of assistance to Catholic Mary succeeding to the throne, thereby setting the stage for alienation between his Catholic family and the successive Protestant monarchs beginning with his great niece, Queen Elizabeth I. In 1546-1547, Norfolk would have been aged about seventy-three, slightly older than Harrison (born 1908), who was sixty-eight at the time of production in 1976. See more »


After Miles Hendon fights with John Canty & his neighbours, Hendon lies apparently dead on the ground. One of Canty's neighbours warns Canty: "...The police'll beat on ye, even if no one else does..." The term "police" did not exist in England until the eighteenth century. See more »


Tom Canty: If you think the food may be poisoned, why not feed it to a dog, or a plumber?
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Version of The Prince and the Pauper (1943) See more »

User Reviews

Star-studded version of Twain's Prince and the Pauper
1 October 1999 | by mccarterSee all my reviews

I haven't seen this movie in 20 years, but I remember going to it mostly because of the impressive cast. The lead, playing the dual roles of the prince and the pauper, was Mark Lester, lately of "Oliver". It was too "lately". By the time this movie came out, Lester was FAR too old for the part(s) of street urchin and child king. Charlton Heston (he's Henry VIII here) seems attracted to this phenomenon. He also did Treasure Island with a too old Christian Bale as Jim Hawkins. Anyway, Heston and the rest of the cast did fine jobs, and the picture is good fun if you can fully suspend disbelief in deep voiced Lester as an innocent child.

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Release Date:

17 March 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crossed Swords See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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