Sentiment rules in this version of the Twain tale of boyhood in 1850 Missouri, reasonably faithful except for minor details and making the character Jim a boy instead of a man. Includes the whitewash episode, puppy love, the graveyard murder, the boys' running away to Jackson's Island, the salvation of Muff Potter, and the cave adventure. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
A glorious piece of Americana and a great film for children, this adaptation of Mark Twain's classic was directed by Norman Taurog, who was a dab hand at this sort of thing, (he had already won the Oscar for Skippy with Jackie Cooper), and is something of a classic itself. The very likable Tommy Kelly is Tom and it's a lovely performance, one of the least ingratiating by a child in all of American movies. He's untrained and innocent and when he cries he's actually very moving. Under Taurog's direction all of the children are first-rate; they all capture the spirit of Mark Twain perfectly. The adults include the great May Robson, magnificent as Aunt Polly, Victor Jory, a suitably frightening Injun Joe, Walter Brennan, Margaret Hamilton and Donald Meek. It's also luminously photographed in early colour by James Wong Howe. David O Selznick produced with all the care and attention to detail you would expect.
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