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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)

Approved | | Adventure, Family | 11 February 1938 (USA)
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.

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(the beloved classic by), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Tom Sawyer
... Aunt Polly
... Muff Potter
... Injun Joe
... Sid Sawyer
... Huckleberry Finn
... Mrs. Thatcher
... Mr. Dobbins - Schoolmaster
... Sunday School Superintendent
... Judge Thatcher
Victor Kilian ... Sheriff
... Mary Sawyer
... Joe Harper
... Amy Lawrence
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 »

Genres:

Adventure | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las aventuras de Tom Sawyer  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many disputes arose between photographer James Wong Howe and his associate, Technicolor photographer Wilfrid M. Cline about which colors to use in wardrobe and sets. Cline wanted bright primary colors, while Howe insisted on subdued earth tones. Since Howe got his way, after one week they were not on speaking terms and The Technicolor Company banned Howe from shooting further pictures in color; Howe did not make another color film for 10 years. 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

Aunt Polly: Land o' Goshen! Your hair looks like a Hoorah's nest.
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Crazy Credits

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

 
Very pleasant and well paced, overall very likable
8 June 2011 | by See all my reviews

I like the book a lot. It is quite episodic in structure, but the characters, dialogue and the story of Tom's adventures are very memorable. This is a very pleasant film and the best version by some considerable distance, like the book it is episodic but it does maintain its likability and charm with only Ann Gillis's rather coy performance and an underdeveloped Huck being the only real problems. Visually and technically, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is very impressive with gorgeous Technicolour, authentic costumes and lavish sets. (Uncredited) Max Steiner's score helps convey the moods of each scene, the film is faithful to the book(not that it needed to be particularly) with good dialogue and an intense confrontation with Injun Joe and it moves at a good pace. Tommy Kelly is a likable Tom, but it is May Robson and Victor Jory that make the film as memorable as it is. In conclusion, likable and pleasant and definitely something I would watch again willingly. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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