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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939)

4:05 | Trailer
To avoid his abusive father, a rambunctious boy rafts the Mississippi River with a slave, encountering many wild characters.


Richard Thorpe


Hugo Butler, Mark Twain (novel)





Complete credited cast:
Mickey Rooney ... Huckleberry Finn
Walter Connolly ... The 'King'
William Frawley ... The 'Duke'
Rex Ingram ... Jim
Lynne Carver ... Mary Jane
Jo Ann Sayers ... Susan
Minor Watson ... Capt. Brandy
Elisabeth Risdon ... Widow Douglass (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Victor Kilian ... 'Pap' Finn
Clara Blandick ... Miss Watson


Huckleberry Finn, a rambunctious boy adventurer chafing under the bonds of civilization, escapes his humdrum world and his selfish, plotting father by sailing a raft down the Mississippi River. Accompanying him is Jim, a slave running away from being sold. Together the two strike a bond of friendship that takes them through harrowing events and thrilling adventures. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HIS GREATEST TRIUMPH! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Tech Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - DEc. 21, 1939 - all caps)


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Did You Know?


The real-life prototype for Tom Sawyer was Mark Twain himself; the book is largely autobiographical (with some embellishments, of course). Huck was based on a boy Twain befriended in Hannibal, MO, named Tom Blankenship, the son of a local vagrant who Twain said "had the greatest heart of anyone he knew". Becky was based on a girl Twain was seeing for awhile in Hannibal named Laura Hawkins. Injun Joe was based on a local vagrant named Joe Douglas who spent half his time in jail, and who was very sweet to the local kids (when drunk) but could be scary when he sobered up. See more »


All through the movie Jim and Huck talk about going down to Cairo. That would mean they started in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, northern Missouri, or northern Illinois. Most of those are not slave states. If they had to get to Cairo. A lot safer way to do it, for Jim would have been to simply cross the Mississippi from Missouri (which was a slave state) to Illinois and simply walk to Cairo. He would not have had to worry about that route. It's not covered why they need to get to Cairo so quickly. And therefore had to use the river. Why they just didn't keep to the Illinois side of the river. So they could ground their boat in Illinois if threatened. See more »


Jim: I run off.
Huckleberry Finn: Jim!
Jim: I had to, Huck, I had to.
Huckleberry Finn: You can't do that! You belong to the women.
Jim: She was fixing to sell me, Huck. I heard her talking about it last night. She said she need the money bad. Had to give it to your Pap.
Huckleberry Finn: Oh.
Jim: If one of them slave traders got me, I never would get to that free state. I never would see my wife, or little Joey.
See more »


Version of Kraft Theatre: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1951) See more »


Jim's Song
Written by Franz Waxman
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User Reviews

from the golden age...
24 September 2007 | by coy_dog0See all my reviews

Like any literary adaptation, this film throws out many scenes and changes others around. As a film, though, it works perfectly. Comparing it to the 1960 version, the reputation of the 1930s as the golden age of Hollywood is exemplified in this picture. Although the film and editing techniques were primitive at this point, the humour is funny, the characters click, and the drama is captivating. I'm not sure why this and the 1960 leave out the scene where Huck convinces Jim he's dreamt them separating in the fog, since its one of the most important in the novel. In any case, Jim's plight is tragic, and makes one shudder to think of the many people that had to be subjected to the institution of slavery. Rex Ingram gives a great performance, and his best scene may be in the jail, right before the lynch mob bursts through the door. "Somebody help me!" he cries. Amazing.

It should also be noted that Clara Blandickgives an outstanding performance as Miss Watson. Mickey Rooney is okay as Huck, but his acting style hasn't aged as well as the others in the film. Overall, I highly recommend this as great entertainment and a great film.


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Release Date:

10 February 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Huckleberry Finn See more »

Filming Locations:

Alabama, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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