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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:

Everybody knows him! Everybody loves him! He's everybody's favorite boy! Mark Twain's most beloved story 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

Walter Brennan (Muff Potter) and Victor Jory (Injun Joe) met while filming this movie and became lifelong friends. 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 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Ever See
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Poem by Lydia Maria Child
Sung a cappella by children on the hayride
Reprised a cappella by Ann Gillis in the cave
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Original Boys of Summer
25 May 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I suppose that if The Adventures of Tom Sawyer had been made at MGM we would have seen Mickey Rooney as Tom with possibly Freddie Bartholomew as Sid with maybe Judy Garland as Becky Thatcher. But David O. Selznick was out on his own as an independent at this point so he chose to use talented child performers who didn't quite have the name clout that those urchin titans of MGM did.

But this universally loved story by America's greatest author certainly had a built in market that had no need of name players to sell it. Selznick saved on player's salary and put the money into production values and he and the public came away winners.

Tommy Kelly, Ann Gillis, and Jackie Moran as Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, and Huckleberry Finn fill just about everyone's conception of what those kids from Hannibal, Missouri in the 1850s were like. They are given able support from such beloved character players as May Robson as Aunt Polly, Walter Brennan as Muff Potter, Victor Jory as the villainous Indian Joe, Olin Howland as the Sunday school teacher, Margaret Hamilton as Mrs. Harper, and Donald Meek as the school superintendent.

Selznick did a faithful adaption of the novel, the famous fence whitewashing incident is there as well as Tom and Huck getting a glimpse of their own funerals when everyone assumes they've drowned and the climax, the chase with Indian Joe in the cave.

It's a timeless classic, it can be shown to kids of all ages for centuries.


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