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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)

Approved | | Family, Adventure | 11 February 1938 (USA)
Tom Sawyer and his pal Huckleberry Finn have great adventures on the Mississippi River, pretending to be pirates, attending their own funeral and witnessing a murder.

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Writers:

(the beloved classic by), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Mark Twain's 1851 story about two runaway friends, a fostered white boy and an escaped black slave, who sailed on a raft down the Mississippi River in search of freedom and adventure.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Tony Randall, Eddie Hodges, Archie Moore
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Muff Potter
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Injun Joe
...
Sid Sawyer
...
Huckleberry Finn
...
Mrs. Thatcher
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Mr. Dobbins - Schoolmaster
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Sunday School Superintendent
Charles Richman ...
Judge Thatcher
Victor Kilian ...
Sheriff
...
Mary Sawyer
...
Joe Harper
...
Amy Lawrence
Philip Hurlic ...
Little Jim
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thrills! Adventure! Laughs! [1958 re-release] See more »

Genres:

Family | Adventure

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las aventuras de Tom Sawyer  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several interior sets were recycled from the Blodgett family farm in A Star Is Born (1937). See more »

Goofs

When Tom is wooing Becky by the river, the frog makes his hat jerk up and down. In the next shot, the string attached to the hat is clearly visible (at 25:40 in 91 minutes). See more »

Quotes

Aunt Polly: Land o' Goshen! Your hair looks like a Hoorah's nest.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits read "A Picturization in Technicolor of the Beloved Classic by Mark Twain 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'". See more »

Connections

Version of Kraft Theatre: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Ever See
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Poem by Lydia Maria Child
Sung a cappella by children on the hayride
Reprised a cappella by Ann Gillis in the cave
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Selznick Technicolor dress rehearsal to Gone With the Wind
22 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

This film is in reality David O. Selznick's 1938 dress rehearsal for 1939's Gone With the Wind. Full length feature films in Technicolor weren't made until 1935 and there hadn't been many made by 1938. some studios didn't start using Technicolor until after 1940. Producer Selznick produced this big production film in Technicolor a year before he would masterfully capture the world's attention with it in Gone With the Wind. Production Designer William Cameron Menzies worked on both this film and GWTW for Selznick as did Art Director Lyle Wheeler, Special Effects Director Jack Cosgrove, Composer Max Steiner and Costume Designer Walter Plunkett. Wheeler was nominated for art direction for the 1938 Academy award for the Adentures of Tom Sawyer. He would received an astounding 26 nominations in his career including five wins including GWTW. Menzies got an Oscar and Cosgrove and Steiner were nominated for GWTW. Cinematographer James Wong Howe didn't join the others on GWTW but he had a cinematography career that spanned photographing Pola Negri movies in 1923 to Barbara Streisand in 1975 in Funny Lady a year before he died. Tom sawyer was directed by Norman Taurog who had a long directorial career from 1920 to almost 1970 and ended his career by directing nine of Elvis Presley's movies. Child actors Tommy Kelly as Tom Sawyer, Jackie Moran as Huckleberry Finn and Ann Gillis as Becky Thatcher. Veteran actors Walter Brennan is Muff Potter, Victory Jory is Injun Joe, Victor Kilian is the Sheriff, May Robson is Aunt Polly and Margaret Hamilton is Mrs. Harper. This film was trimmed from it's 93 minute run-time to 77 minutes when it was reissued in 1959 and that was the version that was shown on television that I saw when I was growing up. I've seen this a few times but haven't seen it in many years. It's one of the more faithful filmed adaptations of the many popular Mark Twain stories. I would give this an 8.5 of 10 but I would like to see the full version and see it on the big screen.


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