AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Huckleberry Finn
Director: Norman Taurog (Dir)
Release Date:   15 Aug 1931
Duration (in mins):   70 or 73
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Jackie Coogan (Tom Saywer)  
    Junior Durkin (Huckleberry Finn)  
    Mitzi Green (Becky Thatcher)  
    Jackie Searl (Sid Sawyer)  
    Eugene Pallette (The Duke of Bilgewater, [Junior])  
    Clarence Muse (Jim)  
    Clara Blandick (Aunt Polly)  
    Jane Darwell (Widow Douglas)  
    Oscar Apfel (The King, [Senior])  
    Warner Richmond (Pap, [Mr. Finn])  
    Charlotte V. Henry (Mary Jane)  
    Lillian Harmer (Miss [Minnie] Watson)  
    Guy Oliver (Judge Thatcher)  
    Doris Short (Ella)  
    Cecil Weston (Mrs. Thatcher)  
    Aileen Manning (Abigail Prentice)  
    Frank McGlynn (Teacher)  

Summary: In the 1850's in St. Petersburg, Missouri, two mischievous boys, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, find pirate's treasure while playing in a cave. Later, Huck goes to live in the house of the widow Douglas and makes an unsuccessful effort to adjust to school life. Tom, infatuated with Becky Thatcher, spends less time with Huck, who is about to run away when his drunken father kidnaps him and locks him in a shack. Overwhelmed by guilt for having let Huck down, Tom rescues Huck with the help of the widow Douglas' slave Jim, and the three decide to head south on the Mississippi River on a raft. Along the way, they encounter a pair of scoundrels, who command Tom's loyalty by pretending to be a king and duke. Tom and Huck, begging for food for the con men, meet a pair of recently orphaned sisters who await the arrival of two uncles from England, and the con men impersonate the uncles to steal the sisters' $14,000 legacy. Huck, however, is smitten with Mary Jane, the older sister, and at the last moment he and Tom foil the planned robbery. The three wanderers return home, and Huck cheerfully resumes school under Mary Jane's influence. 

Production Company: Paramount Publix Corp.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Publix Corp.  
Director: Norman Taurog (Dir)
Writer: Grover Jones (Scr)
  William Slavens McNutt (Scr)
Photography: David Abel (Photog)
  Dan Fapp (2d cam)
  Ernest Laszlo (2d cam)
  James King (Asst cam)
  Thomas Morris (Asst cam)
Sound: Gene Merritt (Sd rec)
Production Misc: Gordon Head (Still photog)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (New York, 1884).
Authors: Mark Twain

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Paramount Publix Corp. 15/8/1931 dd/mm/yyyy LP2400 Yes

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Noiseless Recording

Genre: Adventure
Sub-Genre: Youth
Subjects (Major): Country boys
  Impersonation and imposture
  United States--History--19th century
Subjects (Minor): Alcoholics
  Battered children
  Childhood sweethearts
  Confidence men
  Fathers and sons
  Mississippi River

Note: For realism, the 1850s town of St. Petersburg, MO was reconstructed for a set, according to the pressbook. Mark Twain's novel has been the basis of many films. For information on other film adaptations of Mark Twain's novel, see entry above for the 1960 M-G-M release The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   9 Aug 31   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Jul 31   p. 3.
International Photographer   1 Sep 31   p. 29.
Motion Picture Herald   1 Aug 31   p. 30.
New York Times   2 Aug 31   p. 3.
New York Times   8 Aug 31   p. 16.
New York Times   16 Aug 31   p. 3.
Variety   11 Aug 31   p. 22.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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