Tom Sawyer, a young Missouri lad, finds fun and adventure with his pals Joe Harper and Huckleberry Finn, running away to hide out on Jackson's Island and pretending to be Mississippi River ... See full summary »

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Tom Sawyer, a young Missouri lad, finds fun and adventure with his pals Joe Harper and Huckleberry Finn, running away to hide out on Jackson's Island and pretending to be Mississippi River pirates. When Tom is believed dead by his grieving Aunt Polly, he sneaks back to town to attend his own funeral. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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10 December 1917 (USA)  »

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| (2000 alternate)

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1.33 : 1
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Version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939) See more »

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Faithful, Antique Look At An American Classic
5 May 2001 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Mark Twain's immortal TOM SAWYER flirts with Becky Thatcher, goes rafting with Huckleberry Finn on the Mississippi River & generally makes life a sore tribulation for the law-abiding citizens of St. Petersburg, Missouri.

Produced only seven years after the death of Mark Twain, this rousing, action packed silent film remains faithful to the original classic novel. The fine production values lavished upon it give it the feel of an old photo album. Many of the favorite episodes from the first half of the book are included and filmed with much charm.

Jack Pickford gives a hardy, robust portrayal of Tom, the eternal companion of millions of American boys. Although a bit tall & old (he was 21) to be an authentic portrait of the real Tom, he comes close enough. Tattered, begrimed Robert Gordon as Huckleberry Finn also scores in his small role.

The film concludes with the boys interrupting their own funeral, after being assumed drowned while river rafting. Director William Desmond Taylor decided to film the rest of the book and release it as a sequel, which he did the following year as HUCK AND TOM (1918). Four years later, in 1922, Taylor's still unsolved murder would give Hollywood one of its most sensational scandals.

Almost forgotten today, Jack Pickford, Mary's younger brother, was a movie star in his own right, appearing in 106 films between 1909 & 1928. Lacking his sister's intense dedication & drive, he gave his life over to riotous living - to the detriment of his career. Personal tragedy & dissipation would haunt him until his death in 1933 at the age of 36.


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