This made-for-TV production originally aired on the "Climax!" show and opened up its second season. Huck (Charles Taylor) and his buddy Tom Sawyer (Bobby Hyatt) become blood brothers right before Huck takes off down the Mississippi River to try and get away from his abusive father (Thomas Mitchell). Along his journey Huck comes across a wide range of characters including The Duke (John Carradine). At just 50-minutes long, this here really doesn't give the Mark Twain novel much life or energy. In fact, it's funny to see host William Lundigan ask parents to allow their kids to stay up late and watch the show because of how important the story is. Sadly, he probably should have told them to check out a different version. While this one here offers up some fine performances, the short running time just can't do the novel justice and there are also many things removed. To please the TV censors they had to completely cut out the slave Jim and add a completely different character that was never in the novel. I understand that the censors were quite hard at the time this was shown but it totally ruins the film today. What makes the film worth sitting through are the veteran actors. Mitchell made a career out of playing good guys so it was nice seeing him play such a jerk here and it was rather amazing seeing how well he pulled it off. Carradine also comes across extremely likable in his role. You can see the actor really playing it up for the camera and I think he really delivers a fine performance. The same can be said for Taylor as the young Huck. He's certainly not going to go down as one of the greatest actors to play the part but he still does a fine job. So, if you're a fan of Mitchell and Carradine then it's worth checking out but the various changes pretty much makes the film useless to most.
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