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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)

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.

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Mark Twain (the beloved classic by), John V.A. Weaver (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Kelly ... Tom Sawyer
May Robson ... Aunt Polly
Walter Brennan ... Muff Potter
Victor Jory ... Injun Joe
David Holt ... Sid Sawyer
Jackie Moran ... Huckleberry Finn
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Thatcher
Olin Howland ... Mr. Dobbins - Schoolmaster
Donald Meek ... Sunday School Superintendent
Charles Richman ... Judge Thatcher
Victor Kilian ... Sheriff
Marcia Mae Jones ... Mary Sawyer
Mickey Rentschler ... Joe Harper
Cora Sue Collins ... Amy Lawrence
Philip Hurlic Philip Hurlic ... Little Jim
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Storyline

Sentiment rules in this version of the Twain tale of boyhood in 1850 Missouri, reasonably faithful except for minor details and making the character Jim a boy instead of a man. Includes the whitewash episode, puppy love, the graveyard murder, the boys' running away to Jackson's Island, the salvation of Muff Potter, and the cave adventure. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thrills! Adventure! Laughs! [1958 re-release] See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 February 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las aventuras de Tom Sawyer See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Victor Kilian, who plays the Sheriff in this movie, would later go on to play Huck Finn's father in the 1939 adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939). See more »

Goofs

When Tom is wooing Becky by the river, the frog makes his hat jerk up and down. In the next shot, the string attached to the hat is clearly visible (at 25:40 in 91 minutes). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aunt Polly: Tom! You, Tom!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits read "A Picturization in Technicolor of the Beloved Classic by Mark Twain 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'". See more »

Alternate Versions

Cut to 77 minutes for a 1959 reissue. The reissue print was the only version available for television for many years. See more »

Connections

Version of Huckleberry Finn (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(1843) (uncredited)
Written by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
Sung by the schoolchildren at school
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tears Along the Mississippi
23 December 2007 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Mark Twain's classic characters are brought back to life, by David O. Selznick, for an updated movie adaptation. For the first time, Tom and Huck are seen in color (specifically, "Technicolor"), which contributes to the film's main strength: it looks storybook beautiful. The reliance on set pieces seems entirely appropriate, giving the film great style; and, they are very well done. The cinematography, by James Wong Howe, is remarkable.

The story wavers from true triumph, however, in the direction of the characters; the "cuteness quotient" is set far too high. Many tears flow. Tommy Kelly (as Tom Sawyer) suffers the most, of course, being the lead player. It should be emphasized, however, that this is not due to his effort; under the circumstances, Mr. Kelly performs well. Jackie Moran (as Huckleberry Finn) is a cute best friend; but, not much like the "Huck" from Twain's book. Ann Gillis (as Becky Thatcher) is a cute girl friend. The players are all good, but May Robson (as Aunt Polly) seems the truest.

While more cute than mischievous, and far too clean, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is good enough to stand on its own. The familiar "lost in the caves" ending is a great climax; and, Victor Jory (as Injun Joe) still startles. The scene of "Tom" emerging, at last, from the caves - his black silhouette shot against the blue sky of freedom - is indelible.

******* The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (2/11/38) Norman Taurog ~ Tommy Kelly, Jackie Moran, May Robson, Victor Jory


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