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>
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer adapted into a nice musical version
Adaptation-wise, the best version is the 1938 film(though it occasionally suffers from being too faithful). This 1973 musical version is not one to dismiss either, in regard to the adapting the main events are intact and with the right impact. Though it could've stuck to Mark Twain's prose a little more, the script is fine and witty in quality but the simplifying of the philosophising of Twain's writing makes Tom not quite as interesting or in depth as he is in the book. But it is a nice and really quite good film on its own. It does get off to a slow start and feels for the first 15 minutes or so a little aimless, and while the songs are very pleasant only Freebootin', Gratifaction and River Song stood out properly. The rest aren't bad at all but somewhat too short and incidental. John Williams does arrange and conduct them beautifully though so further credit is due. The film looks absolutely beautiful though, the costumes and sets are great and the photography evocative, at its best it is absolutely splendid. The story has a real innocence and charm and is paced generally very well, the standouts being the charming picnic scene, the riverboat encounter, the intense confrontation in the caves, Tom and Huck's "funeral" and Injun Joe's spectacular leap from the courtroom. The choreography/staging of the musical numbers are appropriately lively too especially in Gratifaction. Johnny Whitaker is very well-cast as Tom, and Jeff East and particularly Jodie Foster match him in spirited and charming performances. In support, Celeste Holm impresses as Aunt Polly being overbearing yet loving- exactly the right approach for the character, Warren Oates seems to be really enjoying himself as Muff Potter and Kuna Hank is one creepy Injun Joe. Overall, a nice if not exceptional musical version of a classic. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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