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 »
On the Carolina coast, Godolphin College's new track coach lodges at Blackbeard's Inn, run by the Daughters of the Buccaneers, who claim to be descendants of the notorious pirate, and who risk losing their hotel to the local mobster.
Hurrah for the DVD! What a way to relive this film!
Adrian Everett's dreams have been answered!! MGM/UA has released this title and Huck Finn (in which child actor Jeff East reprises his role as the title character) on DVD. My only complaint, and it is a minor one, is that MGM opted not to release the film on DVD in the widescreen format. The title and end credit sequences are in widescreen, while the remainder of the film is "modified to fit your screen". Much as I prefer widescreen films presented in their original aspect ratio, Tom Sawyer does not lose anything by being "panned and scanned". If anything, the full screen presentation enhances the performances of the child actors, allowing them to fill the screen with their winning personalities. Johnny Whitaker as Tom, and Jeff East as his rag-tag friend Huck, really light up the screen in every scene they are in, but it is Jodie Foster, as Becky Thatcher, who steals Tom's and the audience's hearts.
Most of the musical score is forgettable, but overall, the Sherman brothers have once again done an admirable job. Several of the songs, such as "Free-bootin" and "Gratifaction" will stick in your head. But it is, "River Song", as performed by Charlie Pride, that will bring a tear to your eye as you think about lost childhood. "...a boy is gonna grow to be a man, be a man. Only once in his life is he free. Only one golden time in his life is he free."
I highly recommend this film, and this DVD to anyone who is a Tom Sawyer fan. All of the storytelling elements of the earlier David O'Selznick production are here, and with the exception of the music, the two films are very similar. While it is the child actors that really sell this film, I cannot overlook the memorable performance of Kunu Hank (apparently in his only film role) as Injun Joe.
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