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. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
I have not seen this version of Tom Sawyer for quite a few years, but I did see it as a child on the "Big Screen". The fun part for me about this movie is that I grew up just a few miles from where most of it was filmed -- a small river town in Mid-Missouri called Arrow Rock. It's not the type of area where a person gets to see a lot of movies being filmed, so you can imagine that this was quite an event for a small rural area at the time.
I was 12 at the time, same age as Johnny Whitaker when he played Tom, and I remember going to watch the filming of several scenes -- especially the "picnic scene". It was also interesting to see what was done to the town to prepare for the making of the film. The main street, which is paved asphalt, was covered with several inches of dirt. The concrete sidewalks were converted to boardwalk sidewalks, which still exist today! It was fun to watch the film in the theater, because many of the extras in the film were local townspeople, neighbors, and friends. You watched to pick out the scenes where you would recognize people you know.
There is a special celebration in Arrow Rock this year for the July 4th festivities, celebrating the 35 years since the filming of Tom Sawyer (1972). Johnny Whitaker and Jeff East are returning to Arrow Rock to participate in the festivities... and I will be returning to partake also! If you're ever driving across Missouri on I-70, I invite you to take a slight detour on Hiway 41 North (just about 130 miles west of St. Louis) and visit the little historic town of Arrow Rock.... where for two months in 1972, Hollywood came to visit!
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