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||IMDB Rating: 6.5/10 from 1,136 votes
||Release: 17 March 1978 (USA) /
||Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama
||Director: Richard Fleischer,
||Stars: David Hemmings, Ernest Borgnine, Felicity Dean, George C. Scott, Graham Stark, Harry Andrews, Julian Orchard, Lalla Ward, Mark Lester, Murray Melvin, Oliver Reed, Preston Lockwood, Raquel Welch, Rex Harrison, Sybil Danning
||Synopsis: Tom Canty is a poor English boy who bears a remarkable resemblance to Edward, Prince of Wales and son of King Henry VIII. 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>
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Watch Crossed Swords - Alternative Versions.
"Crossed Swords" is a lavish and lively adaptation of the Mark Twain
classic "The Prince and the Pauper". Producing the picture were the
Salkinds, the father and son team responsible for "The Three
Musketeers" films, as well as the "Superman" blockbusters. Released in
England by Twentieth Century Fox as "The Prince and the Pauper" in
1977, it reached American shores (now distributed by Warner Brothers)
in 1978 as "Crossed Swords" and with eight minutes of footage deleted.
Veteran director Richard Fleischer moves the familiar story along quite
briskly, while still giving audiences ample opportunities to appreciate
the handsome sets and costumes. The all-star cast is mostly impressive.
Mark "Oliver" Lester is too old and stiff to give a truly authentic
performance in the dual role of Prince Edward and pauper Tom Canty, but
he doesn't spoil the film. Oliver Reed is a hearty and touching Miles
Hendon, and Ernest Borgnine, fake cockney accent or not, shines as the
pauper's cruel father. Charlton Heston perhaps overdoes the part of old
King Henry, but how else can you play a character like that? Rex
Harrison is smooth as an ill-fated Duke, George C Scott impresses as a
beggar king, Raquel Welch looks stunning in her too-few scenes as
Edith, Hendon's true love, and she beautifully underplays her part
(though her surprising adeptness at comedy is evident here as well).
The same cannot be said for scenery chewing David Hemmings, cast as
Hugh, Hendon's evil brother, who forced Edith into an unhappy marriage.
Among the supporting cast are such familiar faces as Harry Andrews, as
a duplicitous Court Minister, Julian Orchard as a court fop, and Sybil
Danning as Tom's mother. Two young beauties (Lalla Ward and Felicity
Dean) appear as, respectively, future Queen Elizabeth and Lady Jane.
With a rousing music score by Maurice Jarre, perfect for a swashbuckler
like this, and beautiful scenery photographed by the great Jack
Cardiff, this is light-hearted, spirited adventure at its finest.
Surprisingly, the film did not fare well on either side of the Atlantic
but, like most period adventures, it has worn well. Incidentally, the
DVD release restores the cut footage and includes a theatrical trailer
and television spot (for the U.S. release) which compliment the
flawless Anamorphic Widescreen transfer.
Tags for Crossed Swords Full Movie
, Ernest Borgnine
, Felicity Dean
, George C. Scott
, Graham Stark
, Harry Andrews
, Julian Orchard
, Lalla Ward
, Mark Lester
, Murray Melvin
, Oliver Reed
, Preston Lockwood
, Raquel Welch
, Rex Harrison
, Sybil Danning
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