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Crossed Swords


  • US Version
  • International Version
Release: Mar 13, 2022 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

The Prince and the Pauper

London in the 16th century. When Tom, a small pickpocket, ends up at the castle with Prince Edward by an unfortunate coincidence, the latter realizes that the two look very much alike. An upcoming masked ball gives Edward the idea to swap clothes with Tom. But the deception is so perfect that Edward is thrown out of the castle and Tom is mistaken for the prince. After the death of Henry VIII, Tom is supposed to succeed him on the throne, but he has little desire to do so. Meanwhile, Edward tries to assert his claim to the throne with the help of the mercenary Miles.

Crossed Swords is one of the many film adaptations of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. Outstanding features here are the many big stars and the extravagant set. The film is directed by Richard Fleischer and stars Oliver Reed, Ernest Borgnine, Raquel Welch, Rex Harrison and Sybil Danning. The film was produced by Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler, who previously brought The Three Musketeers to the screen. This explains the overlapping of some of the actors. Unfortunately, the film never really gets going. First and foremost, it fails to build a relationship with the characters. The script is weak and sometimes seems aimless with some gaps. It never becomes clear why Miles is helping Edward in the first place. Also, at 18 years old, Mark Lester was too old to play the childish king. Above all, the elaborate costumes and the lavish production remain in the memory.

Two versions on the US Blu-ray

In the US, a shortened version of the film was released under the title Crossed Swords. This version was shortened by various action scenes that are not absolutely necessary for further understanding. The cuts are well placed and do not stand out. Alternative footage has also been used in two places. This version is included on the US Blu-ray by Kino Lorber. The bonus material includes the uncut international version, but only in SD resolution. Presumably, the Anchor Bay DVD was used as a template here. The picture quality of the US version is excellent and is currently the best quality way to see the film. If you're interested in the film, you can grab it here.

Picture comparison:

US version:

International Version:


US version: 107:55 min.
International version: 121:30 min.

Comparison between the US version and the international version.


The US begins with the rating card, followed by the Warner logo.

The Int. shows the Studio Canal logo.

US: 17 sec.
Int: 20 sec.


Alternate insertions of the film title and the novel title. All other titles are identical.

No time difference.


The international version shows a scene in which Tom walks through the busy marketplace. He pushes his way through a crowd of people to steal some money. A beggar is being whipped through the crowd. When Tom gropes a market woman, he catches a slap in the face. He steals an apple from another market woman and then climbs a tree.

Int: 1:18 min


Tom flees across a bridge from his pursuers. These are close behind him.

Int: 17 sec.


Tom escapes from the guards and runs up a flight of stairs.

Int: 8 sec.


In another shot, Miles fights with the beggars while Edward presses himself against the wall.

Int: 5 secs.


Miles fends off three of the beggars, then a cut to Edward.

Int: 4 secs.


Miles toasts to Edward and sits down. Edward says that people don't sit down in his presence. Miles reacts irritably, since no one is telling him whether to sit down in his own home. Edward emphasizes once again that he is the Prince of Whales and shows his seal. Miles says that he doesn't want to see it at all and that Edward should bring it back. He shows Edward where to sleep. Edward says that he is already very tired and lies down in Miles' bed. When Miles angrily goes to the bed, Edward has already fallen asleep. He calms down again and lets him sleep. When he wishes him a good night, Edward answers him. He asks him who he is, since his clothes are shabby but his behavior is noble. Miles says that he is a mercenary. Edward asks if he can do Miles a favor for his help. Miles says that he would like to sit in Edward's presence. Edward grants him this wish.

In the next scene, Henry is angry that Hertford thinks that Tom is not his son. Hertford says that Tom claims not to be the prince and is therefore crazy. He also says that the doctor thinks that such confusions can happen. Henry has a fainting spell and has to lie down again. Henry has the prince called to him. Tom tells him that he is not the prince. Henry says that he doesn't care and Tom shouldn't deny him that and break his heart. Tom repeats that he is only a beggar. Hertford interjects that this is the familiar story. Henry says that his son is crazy, but he should get everything he needs to get better.

Int: 6:29 min


The US version shows a shot of John followed by Tom as John asks him where he has been.

St. John is walking down a hallway with Hertford. He tells him of his doubts that the Prince's madness should have changed them so much. He is ready to believe that Tom is not the prince. Hertford interrupts him, since this is now treason to say such a thing. St. John revises his statement and Hertford says that one should now forget these thoughts, since an impostor would hardly say that he is an impostor when he has been recognized as a prince by the king and his court. It is simply a form of madness, he says, and the prince will soon recover from it.

The international version shows a fade from Tom to Edward as John asks him where he has been. Edward, John and the latter's wife are seen earlier in the next shot.

US: 7 sec.
Int: 1:41 min.


The servant pours the wine and a taster takes the cup to take a sip from it. Tom asks him why he doesn't give the wine to a dog if he thinks it is poisoned. The taster agrees. The servant fills the second cup with wine.

Int: 28 sec.


The Harlequin continues to look up at the bed of the severely weakened Henry. Henry says he should humor him and says that Norfolk is now doomed.

Int: 37 secs.


After Edward and John are offered food, the Ruffler orders their hymn to be sung. The beggars join in their song, which is about a group of beggars coming to town and the residents should be careful. At the end of the song, everyone laughs.

Int: 52 sec.


One of the beggars shouts that the king should rest in hell, then a cut to Edward.

Int: 5 secs.


The US shows the shot of the beggar here, which was previously seen in the international version.

The Ruffler goes on to say in the international version that he had a good life as a monk. He was content and took any nun he wanted. Now he is a beggar who lives well by taking from the poor. A beggar appears and says that habits have not changed. Everyone laughs.

US: 3 secs.
Int: 18 sec.


When Hertford says this could mean war, the US version cuts to Tom saying he can't decide that.

In the international version, Tom stands up and says that they will go to war because marriage is a serious matter. Hertford says that this is impossible, since by going to war with Scotland, France would also get in. Tom says that they will then just defeat the French as well. St. John says that they are not fit for war right now. Hertford says that they need to be diplomatic and the governing council is waiting for his instructions. Tom thinks this is too much and asks if the governing council can't make the decisions. Hertford replies that they can only advise and the king makes the decisions. Tom wants to postpone the decision because of the good weather and he can't decide.

US: 7 sec.
Int: 1:28 min.


When Elisabeth is seen at the end of the film, the international version shows a brown frame around the image.

No time difference.