Let there be no illusions about The Mudlark. It is not a great picture. But it is a good one.
The adventures of the young mudlark – a riverside waif who ekes out an existence by picking up scraps left on the mud-reaches of the Thames – who goes to Windsor in the hope of seeing Queen Victoria, makes an appealing and tender yarn [from the novel by Theodore Bonnet].
Rumors spread through London of a plot to assassinate the queen, but Her Majesty, still in mourning for her husband 15 years after his death, denies Disraeli (Alec Guinness) the right to make a statement in the House of Commons. But subsequently the prime minister uses the mudlark incident to win the sympathy of Parliament for reform legislation, as well as persuading the queen to come out of her retirement.
It is the teamwork of the three principal artists which is responsible, more than any other factor, for the success of the film.
1950: Nomination: Best B&W Costume Design