Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Director: Michael Curtiz

Cast: Michael Curtiz, Tony Randall, Eddie Hodges, Archie Moore

     
 

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MGM's all-star 1960 filmization of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn surgically removes the sociological subtext of Mark Twain's novel in the interests of "entertainment for the whole family." The emphasis is on the adventuresome escapades of Huck (Eddie Hodges) and fugitive slave Jim (played by boxing champ Archie Moore), and on the comic elements inherent inSee more details below

Overview

MGM's all-star 1960 filmization of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn surgically removes the sociological subtext of Mark Twain's novel in the interests of "entertainment for the whole family." The emphasis is on the adventuresome escapades of Huck (Eddie Hodges) and fugitive slave Jim (played by boxing champ Archie Moore), and on the comic elements inherent in the characters of the King (Tony Randall) and the Duke (Mickey Shaughnessy). There are some stark moments, such as the discovery of the body of Huck's murdered Pap (Neville Brand), but for the most part the film is a Disneyesque "thrill ride" from one plot highlight to another. In the manner of Around the World in 80 Days, every role is filled by a "name" actor: featured in the cast are Judy Canova, Andy Devine, Buster Keaton, Sterling Holloway, Finlay Currie, Josephine Hutchinson and John Carradine. This version of Huckleberry Finn ends curiously with Huck still a runaway and Jim's fate left unresolved--suggesting that a sequel was in the planning stages.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Mark Twain's masterpiece certainly has been adapted more faithfully than it is in this handsome film, directed with a sure hand by Michael Curtiz (The Adventures of Robin Hood). Still, it is a memorable ride, thanks to a supporting cast of venerable character actors (including Tony Randall, Buster Keaton, Sterling Holloway, and Andy Devine) and the compelling friendship between runaways Huck (Eddie Hodges) and Jim (boxing champion Archie Moore). Hodges’s Huck, seeking "uncharted waters," seems more like one of the Little Rascals than the rough-and-tumble adventurer of Twain's novel. Moore though, as the runaway slave, is superb, giving this powerful story heart and resonance. The film is rated G, but scenes involving Huck's abusive, alcoholic father (not to mention spare use of the n-word) may be too intense for younger viewers.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. gave The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a pretty lavish production, and the picture is quite lovely to look at, especially in Ted. D. McCord's golden-hued color cinematography. It also boasts an especially fine background score from the pen of the one and only Jerome Moross that is full of vigor and excitement. Unfortunately, the film itself, while certainly watchable, is not as exciting and involving as that score, for a variety of reasons. Primary among them is the miscasting of its leads. Eddie Hodges is a cute and personable performer, but he in no way resembles the rough-edged nature's boy that is Huck. Hodges is the kind of kid whose cheeks you just want to pinch because he's so adorable; Huck might inspire a flickering of that feeling, but it would be tempered by the realization that your fingers would get awfully dirty doing that pinching and that you might also get a few teeth marks on your fingers in the process. Archie Moore presents a physically powerful Jim, but he's a lightweight in the acting department and so this crucial character fails to deliver in key scenes. Michael Curtiz's direction is also surprisingly unimaginative, and the screenplay bowdlerizes the original source a bit too much. On the plus, side, however, the supporting cast is quite good, with special praise due Tony Randall's immensely entertaining King.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/26/2003
UPC:
0012569575127
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
G
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Letterbox]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:47:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Theatrical trailers of 4 Twain-centered movies: This film, 1939's Huckleberry Finn, 1937's The Prince and the Pauper and 1944's The Adventures of Mark Twain; Mark Twain on the screen essay; Interactive menus; Scene access; Languages: English & Français; Subtitles: English, Français, Español, Português, Chinese, Thai & Korean

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tony Randall The King
Eddie Hodges Huckleberry Finn
Archie Moore Jim
Patty McCormack Joanna
Neville Brand Pap
Mickey Shaughnessy The Duke
Judy Canova Sheriff's wife
Andy Devine Mr. Carmody
Sherry Jackson Mary Jane
Buster Keaton Lion tamer
Finlay Currie Captain Sellers
Josephine Hutchinson Widow Douglas
Parley Baer Grangerford Man
John Carradine Slave catcher
Royal Dano Sheriff
Dolores Hawkins River boat singer
Sterling Holloway Barber
Harry Dean Stanton Slave catcher
Minerva Urecal Miss Watson

Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
McClure Capps Art Director
George W. Davis Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Samuel Goldwyn Producer
James Lee Screenwriter
Jimmy Lee Screenwriter
Ted D. McCord Cinematographer
Jerome Moross Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Franz Steininger Editor
Frederic Steinkamp Editor
Mark Twain Source Author

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits
2. Goin' Somewheres
3. Praying for Huck
4. Pap's Threat
5. Better Dead
6. Fellow Fugitives
7. Chicken Theft
8. New Passengers
9. Fallen Grandeur
10. Jim's Sin
11. English Relatives
12. Probing for Stretchers
13. Boy Genius
14. Lifting the Loot
15. Brain Fever
16. King's Oath
17. Hankerin' to Wander
18. The Houseboat
19. Slave Catchers
20. The Riverboat
21. Learning the River
22. Slickers Reunion
23. Patagonian Patter
24. Audience With the Emperor
25. Overreaching Don't Pay
26. Little Miss Douglas
27. Abolitionist's Hat's Off
28. Free

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