The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and currently holds a 75% "fresh" rating at review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes based on 16 reviews. Noted critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, writing "The story of Huck and Jim has been told in six or seven earlier movies, and now comes The Adventures of Huck Finn, a graceful and entertaining version by a young director named Stephen Sommers, who doesn't dwell on the film's humane message, but doesn't avoid it, either."
The story of Huck and Jim has been told in six or seven earlier movies, and now comes "The Adventures of Huck Finn," a graceful and entertaining version by a young director named Stephen Sommers, who doesn't dwell on the film's humane message, but doesn't avoid it, either. The transformation of Huck is there on the screen, although much more time is devoted to the story's picaresque adventures, as Huck and Jim meet a series of colorful characters - including some desperate criminals, some feuding neighbors, and the immortal con men the King and the Duke.
Huck is played by Elijah Wood, who mercifully seems free of cuteness and other affectations of child stars, and makes a resolute, convincing Huck. The real Huck (based on a childhood friend of Twain's) was probably much tougher and had rougher edges, but Huck has been sanitized for years in the movies (just as the Widow Douglas tried to "sivilize" the original). Jim, the crucial character in the story, is played by Courtney B. Vance, a New York stage actor who is able to embody the enormous tact with which Jim guides Huck out of the thickets of prejudice and sets him on the road to tolerance and decency.
The supporting cast is uniformly splendid, especially Jason Robards and Robbie Coltrane, as the King and the Duke, who impersonate visitors from England in an attempt to swindle two innocent sisters out of their inheritance. It was a little eerie, halfway through the movie, to realize that Twain wrote the original American road picture, and that in some way not only all of American literature, but also "Easy Rider," "Bonnie and Clyde," "Five Easy Pieces" and "Thelma & Louise" came out of his novel.
The movie, of course, doesn't use the word, nor does it really venture very far into the heart of Huck's transformation. It wants to entertain and fears to offend. But it is a good film with strong performances. Nothing in it is wrong, although some depths are lacking. I admired the performances, and Sommers' sense of time and place, and I hope the movie guides more people toward the book - which contains values that sometimes seem as rare today as when Jim was first teaching them to Huck.
Writer-director Jo Kastner is earnest in his efforts to bring this classic to life. The narration by Val Kilmer as Mark Twain adds heart and insight to the story. Many of the book's iconic moments have been retained: whitewashing Aunt Polly's fence, Tom attending his own funeral, his budding romance with Becky Thatcher. The Mississippi River is captured as the lifeblood of the surrounding country. Unfortunately, too many aspects of the production are amateurish and clumsy. With the exception of Kilmer, most of the adult actors are weak and stilted. Though the river shots evoke Twain's vision, other sets and action pieces reveal the film's budgetary restraints. Twain's book is deserving of a great movie; sadly, this one doesn't fill the bill.
This version was produced by Walt Disney Studios and stars Elijah Wood as Huck and Courtney B. Vance as Jim. It was written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It shouldn't be confused with Tom & Huck, Disney's adaptation of Tom Sawyer, which was released in 1995 and co-written by Sommers. The film received generally positive reviews. While critics said that neither lead performance was particularly great, they praised Sommers for featuring the central friendship more than earlier versions and highlighting Huck's growing maturity. Roger Ebert pointed out in a review that while the film, like earlier versions, avoided delving too deep into the book's racial politics, it was a fine adaptation. Ebert writes, 'I hope the movie guides more people to the book.'
Miss-Lou residents will recognize a number of locations in the movie, including Natchez Under-the-Hill and Historic Jefferson College, as well as a host of local people who had speaking roles and appeared as extras in the film.
James Wiggins, instructor of history at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Natchez branch, will introduce the films in the series and provide historical context for the stories being told. Following the conclusion of the movie, audience members will have an opportunity to discuss how this version of Huckleberry Finn compares with other film adaptations of the story.
Ivers was a pioneering director and a writer. Few details about her life have been recorded because she shied away from any kind of publicity, even more so than Taylor did. Ivers was already wealthy when she entered the film business, the widow of oil and land baron Oliver Ivers who had died in 1902. Her late husband and Frank Garbutt had been business partners, but it was Garbutt who saw new opportunities in the movie business, investing in Bosworth Incorporated in 1913 and the Oliver Morosco Photoplay Company in 1914. When Garbutt formed Pallas Pictures in 1915, Julia Ivers joined the business, too, writing scenarios for all three companies. When Paramount became the distributor for Morosco and Pallas in 1916, Garbutt took on a powerful position behind the scenes at Paramount.
William D. Taylor eventually became an important director at Paramount, but his first job in the movies was as an actor for producer and director Thomas Ince in 1913. Taylor began directing in 1914 with the Balboa Amusement Company, and his breakthrough work came at the American Film Company in Santa Barbara, where he took over and finished the popular 30-episode serial The Diamond from the Sky (1915). Taylor left for Pallas Pictures in October 1915 and directed He Fell in Love with His Wife (1916), his first collaboration with writer Ivers.
After 12 days in Rio Vista, the company moved 35 miles south to Pleasanton for more location work. Most of the filming in Pleasanton occurred at the same location used in the Tom Sawyer films. They were in Pleasanton for about a week before returning to Los Angeles to complete the movie.
This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.
The main messages from this movie are that people can learn to accept others as equal, even if others disagree, and that loyalty and support from friends is important, even for the most self-sufficient people.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a classic novel about a young boy who struggles to save and free himself from captivity, responsibility, and social injustice. Along his river to freedom, he aids and befriends a runaway slave named Jim. The two travel down the Mississippi, hoping to reach Cairo successfully. However, along the way they run into many obstacles that interrupt their journey. By solving these difficult tasks, they learn life lessons important to survival.The reader will find Huck and Jim more knowledgeable at the conclusion of the novel, and notice their love for life and for each other.After reading the novel and watching the Disney film Huck Finn, one will find many dissimilarities. Many of the classic scenes have been switched around and combined in the 1993 version. There are a few scenes in particular that I will focus and comment on.The major difference between the movie and the book is an important character named Tom Sawyer, who is not present or mentioned in the film. It is evident from reading the story that Tom was a dominant influence on Huck, who obviously adores him. Tom can be seen as Huck's leader and role model. He has a good family life, but yet has the free will to run off and have fun.Tom is intelligent, creative, and imaginative, which is everything Huck wishes for himself. Because of Tom's absence in the movie, Huck has no one to idolize and therefore is more independent. Twain's major theme in the novel is the stupidity and faults of the society in which Huck lives. There is cruelty, greed, murder, trickery, hypocrisy, racism, and a general lack of morality. All of these human failings are seen through the characters and the adventures they experience. The scenes involving the King and Duke show examples of these traits.The two con-artists go through many towns playing the same tricks and scams on the gullible townspeople hoping to make money. They put on acts in the novel such as the "Nonesuch" that get them almost killed as they run out of each town. These scenes, which prove as examples of the foolish society are not in the film.The naiveté of the Wilks sisters is disturbing to Huck who attempts to help them stop the frauds from stealing their inheritance. The movie is dissimilar to the book in that it concludes with Mary Jane and her two sisters as the heroes who save Jim from being hanged and Huck from dying of a gun wound.
Plenty of R-rated movies are still in the pipeline, and some widely hailed young filmmakers are escalating violence to new levels. Even movies that keep violence and action to a comparatively modest level - such as "The Crying Game" and "A Few Good Men," both contenders in this year's Academy Awards race - may include moments that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago.
Statistics reported by Variety, the show-business newspaper, demonstrate that the trend away from family-geared fare has been going on for years. Two decades ago, the combined total of G and PG films roughly equaled the number of * movies. By contrast, 1992 served up 305 pictures in the G or PG categories and a whopping 374 with R ratings. The number of PG releases has been dropping, moreover, even though PG films are almost three times as likely as R movies to hit $100 million in box-office earnings. 781b155fdc