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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The four songs included in the film were originally intended for an M-G-M Technicolor musical version of "Huckleberry Finn" which was supposed to have been filmed in 1952, but was never made. It was supposed to have starred Dean Stockwell as Huck, William Warfield (fresh from his triumph as Joe in Show Boat (1951)) as Jim, and Gene Kelly and Danny Kaye as the two con men. The film was abandoned because Kelly wanted to take advantage of a tax deal that required that he work in Europe for eighteen months. See more »
The buildings in on the river in Hannibal are the same ones seen when they get to Pikeville.
A large red brick building with a widows watch on the roof. See more »
I couldn't help a runaway slave, Jim. Why, folks'd say I was no better than a lowdown abolitionist.
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Purists of Mark Twain will find fault with this adaption of Huckleberry Finn, but I like it and I think it captures the charm of Twain and the moral lessons he was trying to teach.
Small town America, it's strengths and weaknesses is a subject done to death in novels, plays and film. I myself just did a review of This Boy's Life which has some of the same themes as Huckleberry Finn. Hannibal, Missouri of the 19th century sure had more charm than Concrete, Washington of the 20th century. Yet Eddie Hodges as Huck Finn had to leave it to fulfill his destiny as surely as Leonard DiCaprio had to leave Concrete.
In fact the most riveting performance in this film is Neville Brand as Huck Finn's Pap. He's as bigoted and narrow-minded, though more explicitly racist than Robert DeNiro in This Boy's Life. Today we would call someone like Neville Brand, trailer park trash.
Because the two are on screen for nearly the whole time, the players essaying the parts of Huck and Jim have to be good and have good chemistry. Archie Moore who was the reigning Light Heavyweight Champion when this was made delivers a great performance as the runaway slave Jim. As does Eddie Hodges as Huck. One theme of Twain's that remains intact is Huck's growth as a human being after being thrown together with Jim who he now sees as a person instead of property.
In fact MGM put together an excellent supporting cast for tyro players Eddie Hodges and Archie Moore. Tony Randall and Mickey Shaughnessy as con men King and Duke are a joy to watch. The whole movie is.
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