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Hal Holbrook: Mark Twain Tonight! (1967)

Recreating the one-man show he starred in on Broadway, 'Hal Holbrook' portrays Mark Twain as a 70-year old humorist who skewers politicians, newspapermen and so-called patriots in this 90 ... See full summary »

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Recreating the one-man show he starred in on Broadway, 'Hal Holbrook' portrays Mark Twain as a 70-year old humorist who skewers politicians, newspapermen and so-called patriots in this 90 minute monologue. Holbrook adapted Twain's own words for a commentary on slavery, religion and politics, mixing the satire with comic yarns about life on the Mississippi and a very effective ghost story. The show's highlight are the lengthy passages from "Huckleberry Finn". Written by David Bassler

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Hal Holbrook brings the special intimacy of television to his memorable stage portrayal of Mark Twain.


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6 March 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Although Hal Holbrook has been performing his Tony award winning one-man show of "Mark Twain Tonight" for over 55 years (2009), this Emmy Award winning presentation was the only time it was nationally televised. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mark Twain: Ladies and gentlemen, how solemn and beautiful is the thought, that the earliest pioneer of civilization is never the railroad, never the newspaper, never the missionary, but whiskey.
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the invisible genius of Hal Holbrook
6 April 2002 | by (Burbank) – See all my reviews

I was convinced that there was no actor on stage in this brilliant production which basically recalls the man who invented stand-up comedy when he wasn't writing classic novels. That was MARK TWAIN on stage with sage words such as "Truth is our most valuable commodity. So we economize it." I woulda bet money that it wasn't Hal Holbrook but the genuine article of the former Samuel Clemens, pacing and puffing on his cigar with smoke rings to enshroud wisdom with humor. God made man because he was disappointed with the monkey. My only objection to that line is that I personally did not create it! What Louis Armstrong is to every trumpeter so be Mark Twain to anyone who ever tried to be funny or literary. MTT was ninety minutes long and if it had been nine hundred minutes of Twain-alia, my interest would never have flagged. Has any other country ever produced a more valuable commodity than Mark Twain? The genius of Hal Holbrook was that what he said was so impacted with wit that you never thought of the voice as coming from an actor.


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