Of all his stories, Mark Twain loved best The Prince and the Pauper. Produced with sincerity and lavishness, this film [from a dramatised version by Catherine C. Cushing] is a costume picture minus any romance whatsoever.
In this film are the Mauch Twins, in addition to Errol Flynn, who is at his best in romantic, swashbuckling roles. But there is no girl opposite Flynn. So it’s just the story of the Tudor Prince who exchanges places with a beggar boy, and regains his throne on Coronation Day through the heroism of a dashing soldier of fortune.
Such interest as the film contains could have been heightened by some drastic trimming in the early scenes, so that Flynn’s entrance might have been moved up. He does Miles Hendon with the proper dash and spirit. The Mauch boys play their contrasting parts with earnestness if not too much skill. Claude Rains as Hertford; Montagu Love as Henry VIII, and Barton MacLane as John Canty, are fiercely melodramatic.
It doesn’t seem that William Keighley, in his direction, has captured sufficient sympathy for the two youngsters to compensate for the romantic loss in having no fiancee for Flynn.