Mudlark, The (1951): Historical Drama Starring Irene Dunne and Alec Guinness

Directed and written by Jean Negulesco, The Mudlark stars Irene Dunne as the reclusive widowed Queen Victoria.

Andrew Ray plays the mudlark, an illiterate London street urchin who, having seen a picture of Queen Victoria on a coin, is determines to meet her.  He sneaks into Windsor Castle, where the Queen has sequestered herself since the death of her beloved Prince Albert.

She has refused to make any public appearances, much to the consternation of Prime Minister Disraeli (Alec Guinness). When the boy breaks into the sanctorum, her courtiers suspect he’s an assassin. But Victoria is regenerated by the boy’s personality and for the first time she emerges from mourning to see her loyal subjects again.

Shot in England, The Mudlark was nominated for the Costume Oscar but did not win.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Costume design (b/w): Edward Stevenson and Margaret Furse

Oscar Context:

The winner was Edith Head for George Stevens’ A Place in the Sun.

Running time: 99 minutes.