The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939 film)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film adaptation of Mark Twain's novel of the same name, starring Mickey Rooney in the title role. The supporting cast features Walter Connolly, William Frawley and Rex Ingram. It was remade by MGM in 1960. A musical version was released in 1974.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRichard Thorpe
Produced byJoseph L. Mankiewicz
Written byMark Twain (novel)
Hugo Butler
Waldo Salt (uncredited dialogue)
StarringMickey Rooney
Walter Connolly
William Frawley
Rex Ingram
Music byFranz Waxman
CinematographyJohn F. Seitz
Edited byFrank E. Hull
Harold F. Kress (sup.)[1]
Production
company
Distributed byLoew's Inc.[2]
Release date
  • February 10, 1939 (1939-02-10)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Cast

Reception

Most critics found the film mediocre. B. R. Crisler of The New York Times felt that the picture was "more Mickey than Huckleberry" and called it an "average, workmanlike piece of cinematic hokum" that "affords little, if any, insight into the realistic boyhood world of which old Mark wrote with such imperishable humor."[3] A reviewer for Variety magazine wrote that the adaptation "has not been able to catch the rare and sparkling humor and general sincerity of the author's original. Furthermore, young Rooney seems too mature and assured in manner and expression for his years. Although he troupes in fine style, impression remains that it's a theatric presentation."[4]

Film Daily called the treatment of the story "very flat and mechanical and uninteresting," adding, "Mickey Rooney does his best, and his fans may accept him as he appears and think he is great. To the lovers of Mark Twain it can only prove a disappointment."[5] Harrison's Reports called it "just fairly good entertainment."[6] John Mosher of The New Yorker called it "a perfunctory, commonplace job, pretty creaky and in the manner of those revival pieces some think quaint ... Aside from being a step for Mr. Rooney, this picture accomplishes nothing."[7]

See also

References

  1. Oldham, Gabriella (1992). "Flash Back, Flash Forward: Harold F. Kress and Carl Kress". First Cut: Conversations with Film Editors. University of California Press. p. 79. ISBN 9780520911741. Kress was the supervising editor.
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn at the American Film Institute Catalog
  3. The New York Times Film Reviews, Volume 3: 1939-1948. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press. 1970. p. 1584.
  4. "Film Reviews". Variety. New York: Variety, Inc. February 15, 1939. p. 12.
  5. "Reviews of the New Films". Film Daily. New York: Wid's Films and Film Folk, Inc.: 6 February 17, 1939.
  6. "Huckleberry Finn". Harrison's Reports. New York: Harrison's Reports, Inc.: 30 February 25, 1939.
  7. Mosher, John (March 4, 1939). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker. New York: F-R Publishing Corp. pp. 72–73.
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