The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Release Date - Jul 22, 1944 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 130 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The Adventures of Mark Twain is a decent biography of half of one of America's most celebrated writers -- half because it tends to present the lighter side of Mark Twain while ignoring the darker side that made him a complex and interesting person and writer. None of the bite or bile that seeps through his writing is presented on the screen, resulting in a fairly sugarcoated character that's certainly pleasant to be with and has a ready supply of witty observations but doesn't come fully alive as a human being. Of course, the film is also prone to the kind of clichés (and factual errors) that Hollywood biopics are famous for, but the clichés at least are handled fairly well. Indeed, director Irving Rapper does a more than decent job all around of keeping things entertaining and interesting; he even makes an ending that could seem unbearably corny into something quite memorable. Obviously, he's aided immeasurably in this by the wonderful performance of Fredric March, who is at all times convincing and melds his own specific charm with that of Twain to create a character that one is happy to spend time with. Mark Twain has more than its share of flaws, but Fredric March makes up for a great deal of them.