The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg (1980)

TV Short  |   |  Comedy, Short
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 32 users  
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A mysterious stranger descends on the small town of Hadleyburg to teach its deceitful residents a lesson. Inspired by writer Mark Twain's short story.



(teleplay), (script development), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg (1980– )

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Richards
Rev. Burgess
Mary Richards
Seth Allen
Kent Broadhurst
Thomas A. Carlin
Brandon Maggart
Robert O'Neill-Butler
Nicole Orth-Pallavicini
Joan Pape ...
Mrs. Cox
Rex Robbins
Frederick Rolf ...
Mr. Cox


Hadleyburg prides itself on its virtue. When a mysterious stranger the town once insulted arrives carrying a sack of gold and a plan to teach them a lesson, the town is set abuzz. He leaves the money to whomever can identify themselves as his benefactor by writing the phrase that's kept inside the sack. Soon all of Hadleyburg's first citizens are submitting their claims. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

17 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hadleyburg  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original short story first appeared as a serialization in Harper's Monthly in December 1899, and was subsequently published as part of an anthology of Mark Twain short stories entitled "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Sketches" mid-year 1900. See more »

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User Reviews

Testing the Town
29 February 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

You have to wonder just what kind of dirt was done to Robert Preston or maybe to Mark Twain in real life as Samuel Langhorne Clemens for him to set up such a joke as a test of human nature on the good citizens of Hadleyburg. Twain's thesis is that if one is never really tempted it's real easy to be virtuous and to be smug about it.

Preston sends 19 letters to different prominent citizens of Hadleyburg saying that their kindness to him plus a gift of $20.00 at a time he needed it with some advice turned his life around and in gratitude he was bestowing a sack containing $40,000.00 on some lucky citizen. Of course no one knows about the others and letters come to the Reverend Fred Gwynne as per instruction where he will open the bag and see if that piece of wisdom is written inside a note with the money.

Of course the lure of $40,000.00 in turn of the last century monetary value is too much, that would be maybe $200,000.00 today. Temptation brings out the worst in people, no need to go into details.

Nicely produced work of a beloved Mark Twain classic.

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