The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Reviews

  • Dec 25, 2012

    twain's novel getas the MGM treatment minus the sociological subtext.

    twain's novel getas the MGM treatment minus the sociological subtext.

  • Nov 07, 2012

    Just saw this whole movie on TCM. It is so cute!

    Just saw this whole movie on TCM. It is so cute!

  • Oct 31, 2011

    A delightfully old-fashioned adventure that I seem to appreciate more than the novel. It's as lively as it is family-friendly, but it seems to work better that way. Huck Finn is living with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, being raised as a "sivilized" young man. His father comes out and abducts him. However, Huck escapes. Running away with his slave friend/coworker Jim, he goes on quite a set of exciting escapades. It's quite promising in the beginning, having warm Southern charm and sheer whimsy in Technicolor glory. The actors, especially Jim, do a splendid job. Some of the things that occur are humorous, such as Buster Keaton's cameo, the King and Dauphin's exchange, and whatnot. A fine score, steady direction, and a mostly good translation keep things afloat. Without the darker edges or "satire", the film is enhanced because that stuff only got in the way of the story it was telling. Emphasis on mostly in the good translation part. I read only part of it, but they excised Tom Sawyer. I can understand that they're trying to make it stand on its own, but... he played a pivotal role in the book! Sometimes, it can get very slow and boring. At other intervals, it feels excessive. Worst of all, it lacks a sense of fun, making the exchanges seem too pale, as well as excitement, making the climax feel too rushed and lazy. Overall, nothing classic, but this is an adaptation that works best because it is without the political bent. Roll over if you want, Mr. Twain, but your average book is best when condensed. This movie is a prime example of that, warts and all.

    A delightfully old-fashioned adventure that I seem to appreciate more than the novel. It's as lively as it is family-friendly, but it seems to work better that way. Huck Finn is living with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, being raised as a "sivilized" young man. His father comes out and abducts him. However, Huck escapes. Running away with his slave friend/coworker Jim, he goes on quite a set of exciting escapades. It's quite promising in the beginning, having warm Southern charm and sheer whimsy in Technicolor glory. The actors, especially Jim, do a splendid job. Some of the things that occur are humorous, such as Buster Keaton's cameo, the King and Dauphin's exchange, and whatnot. A fine score, steady direction, and a mostly good translation keep things afloat. Without the darker edges or "satire", the film is enhanced because that stuff only got in the way of the story it was telling. Emphasis on mostly in the good translation part. I read only part of it, but they excised Tom Sawyer. I can understand that they're trying to make it stand on its own, but... he played a pivotal role in the book! Sometimes, it can get very slow and boring. At other intervals, it feels excessive. Worst of all, it lacks a sense of fun, making the exchanges seem too pale, as well as excitement, making the climax feel too rushed and lazy. Overall, nothing classic, but this is an adaptation that works best because it is without the political bent. Roll over if you want, Mr. Twain, but your average book is best when condensed. This movie is a prime example of that, warts and all.

  • Feb 06, 2011

    To be honest. I liked it. U thought that it would be boring but it was fine.

    To be honest. I liked it. U thought that it would be boring but it was fine.

  • Oct 30, 2010

    This was a last minute substitution at the film festival and completely acceptable. I really enjoyed it. The performances are about what you would expect from a film made in the 1960's with the exception of Archie Moore who plays a lovely and convincing Jim. A shame he was working in the 60's. I am sure if he was working now, you would see a lot more of him.

    This was a last minute substitution at the film festival and completely acceptable. I really enjoyed it. The performances are about what you would expect from a film made in the 1960's with the exception of Archie Moore who plays a lovely and convincing Jim. A shame he was working in the 60's. I am sure if he was working now, you would see a lot more of him.

  • Sep 02, 2010

    Not Exactly Twain's Mighty Mississippi There is an episode of [i]Friends[/i] wherein Rachel has been allowed to make Thanksgiving dessert. All by herself. There won't even be backup pie, which seems inexplicable. My family always had at least two types of pie for holiday desserts, and that assuming no one brought anything else. Anyway. Rachel has gotten a recipe for traditional English trifle out of a magazine and has concocted it. She's very proud of herself. Only as she starts detailing the cooking process, we find out there's something very, very wrong. The pages stuck together, you see, and what she has served for dinner is half trifle and half shepherd's pie. Each considered fine by themselves, but together, there's something not right. Joey liked it anyway, because he liked its ingredients and didn't see a problem with their unorthodox combination, but it still did, as Ross said, taste like feet. This is relevant because somebody got started reading [i]Huck Finn[/i] in order to write this screenplay and clearly got the pages stuck together, finishing the screenplay with a different story entirely. Huck (Eddie Hodges) starts out the story as the lovable rapscallion, America's riverfront waif. In order to convince his pappy (Neville Brand) that Pappy ought to leave the Widow Douglas (Josephine Hutchinson) alone, Huck fakes his own death. Jim (Archie Moore), the widow's slave, gets left as a primary suspect, and the two run away together. Huck wants to go to New Orleans and thence South America; Jim wants to go to Cairo and thence freedom. They encounter the edges of the Grangerford/Shepherdson feud, and that seems to be where the screenwriter realized that the book was longer and more complicated than he'd budgeted for. We meet the King of France (Tony Randall) and the Duke of Bilgewater (Mickey Shaughnessy), and we see them try to con Mary Jane (Sherry Jackson) and Joanna (Patty McCormack) Wilkes, and then we go into a tangent Twain never imagined. The first clue that this wasn't the world's most faithful adaptation comes on the Netflix envelope, in fact, where we are told that Buster Keaton will be in it as a lion-tamer. I read that a couple of times, then went to clarify with Gwen that, no, there isn't a lion-tamer in [i]Huck Finn[/i]. Instead of the lengthy sequence the book gives us of Tom and Huck on Tom's aunt and uncle's place, Huck comes up with the idea that he can hire Jim on as a circus performer claiming to be the Emperor of Patagonia, and the circus will go north, and Jim will be free, and it really doesn't make any sense. It's a real lion, though not much of one, but the "zebra" is a donkey painted with stripes. Basically, the whole thing is Andy Devine and Buster Keaton showing the same sort of half-hearted con-artistry the movie thinks is how show business works, I guess. At that, they put more effort into their crappy circus than the King and the Duke do into their impersonations. And that's another thing. The King and the Duke are lovable rogues in the book. Oh, sure, they're still bad people. However, in this version, the King decides the Duke is a duke, whereas in the book, he just mispronounces "Bridgewater," the Duke's real supposed duchy. Neither are fools; they're just not as smart as they think they are. Twain seems to have been quite fond of pricking the egos of that sort, and here, the Duke's an idiot and the King never really seems to get a comeuppance. If he does, I missed it. They're able to be caught up in so simple a thing as that England has abolished slavery, yet "Percy" speaks so warmly of his slave's loyalty. Oh, Huck wouldn't have known that sort of thing, but it's hard to believe the Duke and the King from the book would be caught by a little thing like that. It also delights me that the only reference to the feud, really, is enough for someone to tell Huck what a feud is and get him and Jim off the raft long enough for the King and Duke to climb on. I would imagine [i]Huck[/i] would present a challenge to anyone going to make a movie, not a miniseries, based on it. After all, when we think of Huckleberry the character, we almost always think of him as connected to Tom, and Tom simply isn't in the most emotionally and artistically satisfying part of the book. The part with Tom is dreadful, really; I never really have liked Tom Sawyer the character much. Twain himself once said that the classics were like wine, and his books were like water--but everyone drinks water. This is high on the list of reasons I think he might be dismayed by the fact that, yes, his books now are classics. The image of Huck and Jim on that river is an iconic one in the American imagination. The image of Tom getting those boys to whitewash that fence for him. The idea that Tom and Huck were close. However, I don't think most people can string those three concepts together into the narrative Twain wrote them into.

    Not Exactly Twain's Mighty Mississippi There is an episode of [i]Friends[/i] wherein Rachel has been allowed to make Thanksgiving dessert. All by herself. There won't even be backup pie, which seems inexplicable. My family always had at least two types of pie for holiday desserts, and that assuming no one brought anything else. Anyway. Rachel has gotten a recipe for traditional English trifle out of a magazine and has concocted it. She's very proud of herself. Only as she starts detailing the cooking process, we find out there's something very, very wrong. The pages stuck together, you see, and what she has served for dinner is half trifle and half shepherd's pie. Each considered fine by themselves, but together, there's something not right. Joey liked it anyway, because he liked its ingredients and didn't see a problem with their unorthodox combination, but it still did, as Ross said, taste like feet. This is relevant because somebody got started reading [i]Huck Finn[/i] in order to write this screenplay and clearly got the pages stuck together, finishing the screenplay with a different story entirely. Huck (Eddie Hodges) starts out the story as the lovable rapscallion, America's riverfront waif. In order to convince his pappy (Neville Brand) that Pappy ought to leave the Widow Douglas (Josephine Hutchinson) alone, Huck fakes his own death. Jim (Archie Moore), the widow's slave, gets left as a primary suspect, and the two run away together. Huck wants to go to New Orleans and thence South America; Jim wants to go to Cairo and thence freedom. They encounter the edges of the Grangerford/Shepherdson feud, and that seems to be where the screenwriter realized that the book was longer and more complicated than he'd budgeted for. We meet the King of France (Tony Randall) and the Duke of Bilgewater (Mickey Shaughnessy), and we see them try to con Mary Jane (Sherry Jackson) and Joanna (Patty McCormack) Wilkes, and then we go into a tangent Twain never imagined. The first clue that this wasn't the world's most faithful adaptation comes on the Netflix envelope, in fact, where we are told that Buster Keaton will be in it as a lion-tamer. I read that a couple of times, then went to clarify with Gwen that, no, there isn't a lion-tamer in [i]Huck Finn[/i]. Instead of the lengthy sequence the book gives us of Tom and Huck on Tom's aunt and uncle's place, Huck comes up with the idea that he can hire Jim on as a circus performer claiming to be the Emperor of Patagonia, and the circus will go north, and Jim will be free, and it really doesn't make any sense. It's a real lion, though not much of one, but the "zebra" is a donkey painted with stripes. Basically, the whole thing is Andy Devine and Buster Keaton showing the same sort of half-hearted con-artistry the movie thinks is how show business works, I guess. At that, they put more effort into their crappy circus than the King and the Duke do into their impersonations. And that's another thing. The King and the Duke are lovable rogues in the book. Oh, sure, they're still bad people. However, in this version, the King decides the Duke is a duke, whereas in the book, he just mispronounces "Bridgewater," the Duke's real supposed duchy. Neither are fools; they're just not as smart as they think they are. Twain seems to have been quite fond of pricking the egos of that sort, and here, the Duke's an idiot and the King never really seems to get a comeuppance. If he does, I missed it. They're able to be caught up in so simple a thing as that England has abolished slavery, yet "Percy" speaks so warmly of his slave's loyalty. Oh, Huck wouldn't have known that sort of thing, but it's hard to believe the Duke and the King from the book would be caught by a little thing like that. It also delights me that the only reference to the feud, really, is enough for someone to tell Huck what a feud is and get him and Jim off the raft long enough for the King and Duke to climb on. I would imagine [i]Huck[/i] would present a challenge to anyone going to make a movie, not a miniseries, based on it. After all, when we think of Huckleberry the character, we almost always think of him as connected to Tom, and Tom simply isn't in the most emotionally and artistically satisfying part of the book. The part with Tom is dreadful, really; I never really have liked Tom Sawyer the character much. Twain himself once said that the classics were like wine, and his books were like water--but everyone drinks water. This is high on the list of reasons I think he might be dismayed by the fact that, yes, his books now are classics. The image of Huck and Jim on that river is an iconic one in the American imagination. The image of Tom getting those boys to whitewash that fence for him. The idea that Tom and Huck were close. However, I don't think most people can string those three concepts together into the narrative Twain wrote them into.

  • Aug 25, 2010

    (First and only viewing - 8/25/2010)

    (First and only viewing - 8/25/2010)

  • Apr 03, 2010

    68/100. Although it takes quite a few liberties with the Mark Twain novel, the appearances of many well known guest stars and an exceptional quality in its production make it a very entertaining movie. It appears they were trying to make it more of a movie geared more towards family viewing. Fine cinematography and art direction. I was never bored, it wisely is not too long. Eddie Hodges is a little weak as Huckleberry Finn, and since it is such a pivotal role, that does hurt the effectiveness of the film somewhat. Tony Randall is very good, Buster Keaton has a nice bit as well, as does Andy Devine, Sterling Holloway and Neville Brand.

    68/100. Although it takes quite a few liberties with the Mark Twain novel, the appearances of many well known guest stars and an exceptional quality in its production make it a very entertaining movie. It appears they were trying to make it more of a movie geared more towards family viewing. Fine cinematography and art direction. I was never bored, it wisely is not too long. Eddie Hodges is a little weak as Huckleberry Finn, and since it is such a pivotal role, that does hurt the effectiveness of the film somewhat. Tony Randall is very good, Buster Keaton has a nice bit as well, as does Andy Devine, Sterling Holloway and Neville Brand.

  • Apr 03, 2010

    68/100. Although it takes quite a few liberties with the Mark Twain novel, the appearances of many well known guest stars and an exceptional quality in its production make it a very entertaining movie. It appears they were trying to make it more of a movie geared more towards family viewing. Fine cinematography and art direction. I was never bored, it wisely is not too long. Eddie Hodges is a little weak as Huckleberry Finn, and since it is such a pivotal role, that does hurt the effectiveness of the film somewhat. Tony Randall is very good, Buster Keaton has a nice bit as well, as does Andy Devine, Sterling Holloway and Neville Brand.

    68/100. Although it takes quite a few liberties with the Mark Twain novel, the appearances of many well known guest stars and an exceptional quality in its production make it a very entertaining movie. It appears they were trying to make it more of a movie geared more towards family viewing. Fine cinematography and art direction. I was never bored, it wisely is not too long. Eddie Hodges is a little weak as Huckleberry Finn, and since it is such a pivotal role, that does hurt the effectiveness of the film somewhat. Tony Randall is very good, Buster Keaton has a nice bit as well, as does Andy Devine, Sterling Holloway and Neville Brand.

  • Jan 27, 2010

    Brilliant,classic period drama the stuff childhood is made of.

    Brilliant,classic period drama the stuff childhood is made of.