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88 Days in the Mother Lode: Mark Twain Finds His Voice (2015)

150 years ago, Samuel Clemens spent 88 days in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties in the winter of 1864/65. While taking refuge from the rain in Angels Camp, he was told the story of a jumping frog. That frog made him famous as Mark Twain.
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Credited cast:
Drew Boudreau Drew Boudreau ... Rabble Rouser
James Caron James Caron ... Self
Vic Fischer Vic Fischer ... Self
James Fletcher James Fletcher ... Self
Michelle Gordon Michelle Gordon ... Self
Rob Gordon Rob Gordon ... Dick Stoker
Ralph Krummins Ralph Krummins ... Jim Gillis
Peter Leibold IV Peter Leibold IV ... Billy Gillis
Thomas F. Maguire Thomas F. Maguire ... Samuel Clemens (voice)
Matt Sweetland Matt Sweetland ... Mark Twain
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150 years ago, 29 year old Samuel Clemens had to hide out from the San Francisco police for a few months. Virtually broke, traveled to Jackass Hill in the Gold Country where he spent the next 88 days doing a little mining, a little drinking, a little story telling and a little recuperating. He jotted a little story he heard tell about a jumping frog. Upon his return to San Francisco in February 1865 he developed that story and sent it East to be published. The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County launched the career of Clemens' alter ego Mark Twain and he went on to become America's most beloved author and humorist. In this film, we follow Clemens to the West from Missouri to Nevada, San Francisco and the Mother Lode. Re-enactments, interviews with Twain scholars and Twain's own words tell the story of what happened. Written by Bert Simonis

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Did You Know?


The film premiered in Angels Camp, California on February 21, 2015. It was exactly 150 years to the day that Mark Twain left Angels Camp - never to return. See more »


The actor playing the young Samuel Clemens, Matt Sweetland, was born deaf and wears hearing aids in both ears. The director always reminded him to take the aids out and put them in his vest pocket while shooting a scene. There is one scene where Matt and the director forgot to remove his hearing aids. See more »

User Reviews

An excellent film about Samuel Clemens
15 February 2015 | by bhobill21See all my reviews

88 Days is a well-made educational documentary which chronicles the period of Samuel Clemens' life that he spent in the West. It focuses on the three months he lived in the California mountains and how they influenced his later career as Mark Twain. His experiences in Nevada and San Francisco before and after are also accurately and thoroughly presented. The story is told by combining excerpts from Clemens' writings with narrative by present day historians. It describes how his storytelling career progressed from newspaper reporting to stand-up lecturing over the course of his experiences in the West.

This is a very informational and interesting film which provides much insight into Mark Twain's life that is not widely known. I enjoyed watching it and highly recommend it to everyone desiring to learn more about Mark Twain.

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Official Sites:

Official site | Official site





Release Date:

21 February 2015 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Angels Camp, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$21,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

This 'n That Films See more »
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Technical Specs





Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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