Tom Sawyer (1973)    0 Stars

“A Musical Adaptation of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer”

Tom Sawyer (1973)
 Tom Sawyer (1973)


Director: Don Taylor

Cast: Johnny Whitaker, Celeste Holm, Warren Oates

Synopsis: Tom Sawyer and his pal Huckleberry Finn have great adventures on the Mississippi River, pretending to be pirates, attending their own funeral, and witnessing a murder.






Mark Twain’s timeless classic effortlessly resists the Readers Digest’s attempt to transform his homespun tale of youthful hi-jinks into a musical, thanks largely to a collection of completely unmemorable tunes.  A miscast Johnny Whitaker (The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming) pretty much signs off his movie career at the grand old age of thirteen with an unconvincing performance due mainly to the fact that he plays the part too broadly.  Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs, Elysium), meanwhile, is perfectly cast as little Becky Thatcher. There’s some nice location photography, but everything looks just a little too clean and tidy – even Warren Oates’ (Mail Order Bride, The Wild Bunch) drunken Muff Potter fails to make things look messy.

(Reviewed 7th March 2012)

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