Tom Sawyer (1930)

Genres - Adventure, Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Adventure  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Michael Betzold

Mark Twain's wistful yet cantankerous stories of the Mississippi River adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were perfect subjects for Depression-era America, with their focus on the fading golden age of small-town America. The homespun 1930 MGM adaptation filmed by John Cromwell remains the best movie version of the Sawyer story. Twain's humor and boldness are little muted by a production that remains faithful to the original while downplaying the story's more satirical aspects. Famous child star Jackie Coogan headed a cast which included Junior Durkin as Huck and Mitzi Green as Becky. The two stars paired up again the following year for a Paramount adaptation of Huckleberry Finn.