Tom Sawyer (1917)

Genres - Adventure, Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Adventure  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This version of the Mark Twain novel contains its more homespun situations -- the whitewashing episode, Tom's courtship of Becky Thatcher (Clara Horton), his decision to run away with his pals Huck Finn (Robert Gordon) and Joe Harper (Antrim Short), and their "return from the dead" at their own funeral. Left out is the murder committed by Injun Joe and his death at Tom's hands. But just about everything that was missing here was filmed in 1918's Huck and Tom, made with the same cast, which included Jack Pickford as 15-year-old Tom. Pickford was a bit too old and worldly-wise for the part -- but since he was the brother of America's Sweetheart, Mary Pickford, the casting choice seemed logical on the surface. Both films were directed by William Desmond Taylor, who also made Huckleberry Finn in 1920, this time with actors young enough to realistically portray Tom and Huck.

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