12 user 7 critic

Huckleberry Finn (1974)

In the 1840s Missouri, young boy Huckleberry Finn, wanting to escape his drunkard violent father, joins black runaway slave Jim on a quest for freedom down the Mississippi River on a raft.


J. Lee Thompson


Mark Twain (novel), Robert B. Sherman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff East ... Huckleberry Finn
Paul Winfield ... Jim
Harvey Korman ... The King
David Wayne ... The Duke
Arthur O'Connell ... Col. Grangerford
Gary Merrill ... Pap
Natalie Trundy ... Mrs. Loftus
Lucille Benson ... Widder Douglas
Kim O'Brien Kim O'Brien ... Maryjane Wilks
Jean Fay Jean Fay ... Susan Wilks
Ruby Leftwich Ruby Leftwich ... Miss Watson
Odessa Cleveland ... Jim's Wife
Joe Boris Joe Boris ... Jason
Danny Lantrip Danny Lantrip ... Kyle
Van Bennett Van Bennett ... Wayne


Huckleberry Finn, a rambuctious 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


The Greatest Of All American Adventure Stories. See more »


G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Early drafts of the script contained the N-word identifying Jim (as does Twain's novel). Paul Winfield insisted that the word be dropped before he would agree to play Jim. See more »


Buck: Mr. Jackson, sir, My name is Buck. And whilst you're here at Grangerford Manor, I will be your personal manservant and valet.
See more »


Version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1981) See more »


What's Right, What's Wrong
Written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Performed by Jeff East
See more »

User Reviews

A good director's worst film...
26 April 2008 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Talented filmmaker J. Lee Thompson stages this musical version of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" with artificial verve, and nothing in it looks quite right or plays at the appropriate tempo. Stolen from his guardians by his delinquent father, Huckleberry Finn stages his own death and hits the Mississippi River with friend Jim the Slave (why the two don't return to the sisters whom Jim works for is never made clear--both he and Huckleberry would certainly benefit from their generosity). Songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman, who also adapted the screenplay, seemed to lose their way musically once their mentor, Walt Disney, died; here, their songs are like leaden chapter stops in the narrative, not that the actors have much musical range. Teen star Jeff East doesn't even have music in his speaking voice, and he crawls through the picture lethargically, talking through his nose as if he had a cold. Paul Winfield fares better as Jim, though this pictorial, phony journey must have seemed quite a comedown after his "Sounder". Cinematographer László Kovács gets some beautiful shots of the raft on the water, but the limp direction and editing makes nearly all of Kovács' compositions look poorly framed. The color schemes are gloppy, with day scenes appearing as dusk and vice-versa. Director Thompson, who makes the white folks look like doddering scoundrels and the black folks look like grinning simpletons, can't work up a cohesive pace for the picture, and it jostles about from one poor vignette to the next. This was a follow-up by financiers Reader's Digest to 1973's "Tom Sawyer"; as with that film, a TV-version was right on their heels, in this case 1975's "Huckleberry Finn" starring Ron Howard and Donny Most. * from ****

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Official Sites:






Release Date:

24 May 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn: A Musical Adaptation See more »

Filming Locations:

Nauvoo, Illinois, USA See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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