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Huckleberry Finn (1931)

Runaway Huck Finn rafts down the Mississippi with his friends.


Norman Taurog


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Complete credited cast:
Jackie Coogan ... Tom Sawyer
Junior Durkin ... Huckleberry Finn
Mitzi Green ... Becky Thatcher
Jackie Searl ... Sid Sawyer
Eugene Pallette ... Duke of Bilgewater
Clarence Muse ... Jim
Clara Blandick ... Aunt Polly
Jane Darwell ... Widow Douglas
Oscar Apfel ... The King
Warner Richmond ... Pap Finn
Charlotte Henry ... Mary Jane (as Charlotte V. Henry)
Lillian Harmer ... Miss Watson
Guy Oliver ... Judge Thatcher


A year after their former exploits, Tom Sawyer's puppy love of Becky Thatcher keeps him home while Huck Finn, chafing under "civilizing" influences like school and shoes, plans to run away. His scapegrace, abusive father intervenes; Tom and black Jim help him escape; and (departing from the novel) all three raft down the Mississippi, where they're joined by two likable rogues and meet pretty orphans Ella and Mary Jane. The latter may change Huck's mind about girls... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hey Folks, We're Together Again!




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Release Date:

7 August 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Huck Finns hændelser See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Huckleberry Finn: [Huck is troubled, having kissed his guardian, the Widow Douglas, as he was leaving for school] Do you kiss your Aunt Polly?
Tom Sawyer: 'Course I do. Everybody kisses their Aunts, or their Mothers, or whatever it is.
Huckleberry Finn: Well, would you kiss her even if she wasn't your Aunt, or Mother, or anything?
Tom Sawyer: 'Course not. Y' don't s'pose I'd just go around kissin' anybody.
Huckleberry Finn: Well, I mean if she was, well, you know, raisin' ya.
Tom Sawyer: Oh, if she was raisin' ya.
Huckleberry Finn: Even if she wasn't no relation?
Tom Sawyer: I s'pose so, if she was raisin' ya.
Huckleberry Finn: ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Mark Twain's Beloved Huck
30 September 2017 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

HUCKLEBERRY FINN (Paramount, 1931), directed by Norman Taurog, is an immediate sequel to Paramount's TOM SAWYER (1930), both screen adaptations by Mark Twain, starring Jackie Coogan (Tom) and Junior Durkin (Huck) reprising their original roles. As in most sequels where the original proved more favorable than the continuation saga, HUCKLEBERRY FINN could be said to be of equal status, with the secondary character becoming more of a central figure this time around.

Following the opening credits where staff and players names written on a wooden fence, HUCKLEBERRY FINN re-introduces the characters from TOM SAWYER, showing what's developed since they were last seen a year ago. The setting remains pre-Civil War Missouri where Tom Sawyer (Jackie Coogan) still has a crush on Becky Thatcher (Mitzi Green), awaiting for Tom to walk her to school; Aunt Polly (Clara Blandick) preparing for Sidney (Jackie Searle), Tom's little cousin and rival, for school; and Huckleberry Finn (Junior Durkin, Tom's best friend, now living in the home of the sympathetic Widow Douglas (Jane Darwell), while her spinster sister, Minnie Watson (Lillian Harmer) feels Huck will never amount to anything in life. While the teen-age Huck is a student at school, he must cope with being the tallest boy in the third grade. Huck is slow in learning, day dreams much of the time, and finds it hard to spell "PENNSYLVANIA" which he does ten different ways. Tom is invited to Becky's birthday party, but Huck is both hurt for being the only one not invited to attend, and jealous over Tom's attention towards Becky. On the night of the party, Huck is abducted by his drunken father, "Pap" Finn (Warner Richmond), forcing the boy to write a letter granting permission for him to obtain his son's money, as to be presented to Judge Thatcher (Guy Oliver). Because Pap cannot read, Huck puts it in different wording. Left inside a locked shack, through Slave Jim's (Clarence Muse) hairball, traces Huck's location where he and Tom come to Jackson Island to save him. While there Tom schemes to make it appear Huck broke out and drowned. The plan works, where Pap Finn returns and runs away from the law. Refusing to return home, Tom, Huck and Jim journey down the Mississippi by raft. They later encounter a couple of ham actors (Eugene Palette and Oscar Apfel) thrown off the steamer for cheating at cards, and pass themselves off as men of royalty. While trying to get a meal for themselves and the con-men with Jim awaiting at the raft, Tom and Huck meet with and become house guests to orphans sisters, Mary Jane (Charlotte V. Henry) and Ella (Dora Short), and their housekeeper, Rachel (Libby Taylor) instead. Learning the girls are expecting a visit from their rich uncles John and Ed from England, relatives they have never met, to come split the inheritance of $14,000, Tom passes off this news to the actors, who intend on playing a new "game" by posing as the uncles so to quietly steal the girls' fortune without Tom and Huck's knowledge.

As much as Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn books have become permanent fixtures in classic literature, the characters are also well known through their screen adaptations dating back to the silent era to present day. Better known stories to these boy characters were improved before the decades end with the retelling of THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER (United Artists, 1938) with Tommy Kelly, and THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1939) with Mickey Rooney (sans Tom Sawyer), to great satisfaction. Jackie Coogan, former child star of the 1920s, looks much older and taller from his previous film of 1930. Unlike Durkin, Coogan's voice hasn't grown deeper as of yet, so was able to retain his boyish charm of a 13-year-old. Mitzi Green and Jackie Searle, who had major roles in TOM SAWYER, would disappear from the story before reaching the midway point. Clarence Muse makes a memorable Slave Jim, as does Eugene Palette passing himself off as the Grand Duke Bridgewater.

Unseen on television since the late 1970s and never distributed to video cassette or cable television (thus far), HUCKLEBERRY FINN and TOM SAWYER would make great companion pieces if ever placed on DVD. Regardless of its age, this 80 minute adaptation to Mark Twain's friendship of two young boys remains timeless as well as entertaining. (***)

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