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Huckleberry Finn/The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Where the Red Fern Grows [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Huckleberry Finn
It's still the same old story...but what a story. This umpteenth filmization of the classic Mark Twain novel stars Ron Howard as Huck and Donny Most as Tom Sawyer. After faking his own murder to escape his brutish Pap (played by Howard's real-life father Rance), Huck and fugitive slave Jim (Antonio Fargas) fashion a raft and head off down the Mississippi. The darker elements and sociological commentary of the Twain original are carefully excised from this version, the better to allow more time for the antics of those "royal" rapscallions, the King (Jack Elam) and the Duke (Merle Haggard). Mark Twain himself makes a guest appearance, in the person of Royal Dano. Filmed along the Sacramento River in California (a frequent movie "stand-in" for the Mississippi), Huckleberry Finn was first broadcast March 25, 1975. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The 1938 version of Adventures of Tom Sawyer appears to be producer David O. Selznick's dry run for Gone with the Wind, what with its similarities in period, costumes, color scheme and production design (both films shared the services of the great Hollywood art director William Cameron Menzies). Selected from hundreds of applicants (a precursor to Selznick's upcoming search for Wind's Scarlet O'Hara), Tommy Kelly is visually perfect as Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer though his acting varies from scene to scene. Better cast is Jackie Moran as the laconic, pipe-smoking Huck Finn (Moran would show up in Wind as Dr. Meade's son). Never forcing its pace, the film manages to include most of Twain's classic sequences, including the fence-whitewashing episode, Tom's rescue of Becky Thatcher (Anne Gillis) from the wrath of their schoolmaster (Olin Howlin), Tom and Huck's "death and resurrection" after the boys briefly skipped town for an idyll on a remote island, the murder trial of town drunk Muff Potter (Walter Brennan) and ultimately unmasking of the vicious Injun Joe (Victor Jory) as the real killer, and of course the chilling climax in the cave, wherein Tom protects Becky from the fugitive Injun Joe. Originally released at 93 minutes, Adventures of Tom Sawyer was trimmed to 77 minutes for a 1959 reissue; it has since been restored to its full length on videotape. In 1960, Tom Sawyer was syndicated to television by Selznick, with accompanying commentary by the film's now-grown-up "Becky Thatcher", Anne Gillis. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Where the Red Fern Grows
Based on the novel by Wilson Rawls, this film follows the events that befall a young Oklahoma farm boy as he, with the help of his two beloved hounds, struggles to help his family get by in the hard times of the 1930s. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Bill Erwin
  • Frederic Forrest
    Frederic Forrest
  • Don Most
    Don Most
  • Ron Howard
    Ron Howard - Huckleberry Finn
  • Antonio Fargas
    Antonio Fargas - Jim
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