Roughing It (TV Movie 2002) Poster

(2002 TV Movie)

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Dry wit and poignant sub stories make this worth watching.
rkarlin23 March 2002
Have you ever taped a show because you didn't really think you'd like it but wanted to be sure...and then when you started the tape, you found yourself watching it straight through. That's how this movie (actually a two part mini-series) caught me. James Garners' excellent voice overs and interludes as Mark Twain allow us to watch as if we were reading the book. Garners' performance and Adam Arkins' small but Emmy deserving turn as a man our hero Sam Clemmens meets in his episodic journey to find himself are the two best out of several good performances which brings this story to life and to heart.
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A Modern Television Classic
dbfromda31328 July 2006
Roughing it is a great movie about the interesting life of Mark Twain. It is extremely accurate and is well made. Roughing it is an entertaining made-for-TV movie. You will learn a great deal and will enjoy it while doing so. The very underrated writer of this film, Steven H.Berman was nominated for his brilliant screenplay by the Writers Guild of America. James Garner is great along with his all-star cast. Robin Dunne does his job well as a young Mark Twain, Adam Arkin delivers with his role as does Ned Beatty and the rest of the cast. If you have not seen this film I suggest to rent and or buy it as soon as possible, you won't regret it. 10 out of 10
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Kept my interest
da_man19 September 2002
While certainly not one of the great works of modern television, Roughing It isn't as bad as some people might lead one to believe. I must admit to not having read much Mark Twain and if you are looking for something which is completely faithful to one of his works Roughing It probably isn't for you.

I watched it with few expectations but generally like Twain's style and James Garner has never let me down before. The story was witty and lively enough to keep my interest and seemed to capture at least some of Twain's style. I gave it a 7 out of 10.
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Worth waiting for.
Joseph French22 November 2003
Roughing It is my favorite Twain novel and it has never been filmed before. After nine plus film versions of The Prince & the Pauper, what a delight to finally see Roughing It. This is a big sprawling novel, so a lot is missing, but I am still grateful.
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Best of its kind
winner559 November 2007
Of the (usually 3 hour long) made-for-TV miniseries/movies released on DVD under the "Hallmark" imprint, this is the only one worth watching - and it is VERY worth watching.

Yes, it is overlong, and the faithful-adaptation approach to the source material loses inspiration toward the end. But on the whole this is humorous, touching, and as enigmatic in parts as Twain's original narrative. Twain came from a small town in a part of the country already proud of its traditionalism - he discovers the American West to be substantially a different planet, and we see this through his eyes - partly thanks to some marvelously cinematic camera-work.

Twain's character - among the greatest of the enigmas in the narrative - is also at issue, Was he cowardly lion? Brilliant poker player? Prospector kept from realizing dreams of wealth by pure dumb luck - or just dumbness? Or was he indeed one of the wisest of 19th Century writers, learning from experience and brave enough to present it 'warts and all'? Allowing the story to be about both Twain himself and the American West he discovered is the chief among many charms of this film.

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Too short an abbreviation of a great novel
drschor21 June 2015
Just awful compared to the novel. The only made a minimal effort to stick to storyline, style, or humor of book. Many excellent and subtle satire missing. Telling the story as a flashback never happened and was the wrong format. Avoiding the time consuming and pointless flash back would have allowed more of the actual story as written by twain to be told. Etc. Etc. Don't waste your time. If you need an electronic version of this book, listen to the Librovox version. You can get the librivox version at Movie versions of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer give a much more authentic Mark Twain Experience. Also try reading Innocents abroad or listening to libivox to get the true Mark Twain Humor
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