In Missouri, during the 1840s, young Huck Finn fearful of his drunkard father and yearning for adventure, leaves his foster family and joins with runaway slave Jim in a voyage down the Mississippi River toward slavery free states.
Courtney B. Vance,
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 ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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 first two times Huck has worn shoes, they've squeaked. When he's serving as a cabin boy, they don't. 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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Adaptation-wise, die-hard fans of the book will find plenty of fault. On its own this film is not bad at all, actually from this viewer's perspective it was decent. Of the 5 Huckleberry Finn adaptations on film that I've seen it is around the middle, with the 1938 Mickey Rooney film being the best and the 1975 Ron Howard film(the only one of the 5 that was anywhere close to bad) being the worst. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(1970) could have been better. Eddie Hodges was a little weak and somewhat too prim for Huck and while there are some tense, heart-warming and moving moments the storytelling could have been much stronger. The additions and some omissions didn't always make the narrative cohesive(for example much more could have been done with the ending)- though the Ron Howard does a much worse job at this- and because the grimmer parts of the book are trimmed down or diluted there are times, not always mind, where things did come across as a little on the "cute" side. The adaptation is beautifully filmed though with evocative and quite charming locations and river settings(where the photography was at its most striking). The music score is rousing, foreboding and poignant at all the times it's called for and it is placed appropriately, while the scripting is colourful and generally makes an effort to capture the spirit of Mark Twain's own writing and while not all the storytelling is as good as it could've been it is difficult not to be moved by Jim's talking of his deaf child(something that anybody would identify with). The acting is good generally. Archie Moore is just great and very dignified as Jim(his chemistry with Hodges just about convinces), while Neville Brand is a brutish Pap, Mickey Shaughnessy is appropriately oafish with an ability to be menacing and humorous and Tony Randall's King is superbly conniving. Buster Keaton and Andy Devine also make lively appearances in one of the more delightful and chemistry-strong scenes of the film. All in all, a decent film but "purists" may want to look elsewhere. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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