Normally the very picture of femininity, Marguerite Clark was persuasively masculine in the dual "britches" role of The Prince and the Pauper. This first feature-length version of the Mark Twain story de-emphasized the author's acerbic social commentary, preferring instead to concentrate on the mistaken-identity aspects of the story. On a whim, the Prince of Wales (Clark), son of King Henry VIII, trades places with beggar boy Tom Canty (Clark). The prank has long-ranging consequences when Henry dies and the phony prince is slated to assume the royal crown. Meanwhile, the real prince has quite a time convincing anyone of who he really is; only the protection of wandering cavalier Miles Herndon (William Sorrelle) saves the boy from disaster at every turn. The double-exposure photography used to create the illusion of two Marguerite Clarks was well up to the standards of pioneering director Edwin S. Porter.
by Hal Erickson synopsis