The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993 film)
|The Adventures of Huck Finn|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stephen Sommers|
|Produced by||John Baldecchi
|Screenplay by||Stephen Sommers|
|Based on||Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
|Music by||Bill Conti|
|Edited by||Bob Ducsay|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$24.1 million|
The Adventures of Huck Finn is a 1993 American adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Buena Vista Pictures, and starring Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance, Jason Robards and Robbie Coltrane; it is based on Mark Twain's novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and focuses on at least three-fourths of the book. The film follows a boy named Huckleberry Finn and an escaped slave named Jim, who travel the Mississippi River together and overcome various obstacles along the way.
Huckleberry Finn (Elijah Wood) is a half-literate son of a drunk (Ron Perlman). One night, his father arrives and Huck is taken away to his father's home. Jealous of Huck's money being kept away, he attacks Huck, but eventually passes out from exhaustion.
Huck fakes his own death and runs away. He is accompanied by Jim (Courtney B. Vance), a slave who worked for Huck's foster family, and escaped the family out of fear for being sold off. The duo follow the Mississippi River to Cairo, Illinois, so Jim can escape to freedom without being arrested.
They come across a wanted poster for Jim, falsely saying that he murdered Huck. Jim and Huck come across a sinking barge one night, and Jim notices Huck's father's corpse on the ship. Huck notices two sailors leaving one to drown in a room as the water comes crashing through. Huck and Jim's canoe sinks, but they steal another one, as the barge completely sinks underwater.
The canoe is struck by a steamboat, and Huck is at first captured by a few men, then taken to the home of the Graingerford family. Huck lies about his life to the Graingerfords to avoid suspicion. The Graingerfords are in a feud with another family, the Shepherdsons. Huck even befriends Billy Graingerford (Garette Ratliff Henson), the Graingerford patriarch's son, but is horrified that Jim is found by the family and has become a slave. Billy's older sister Sophie runs away to marry a Shepherdson, thus a short firefight happens, killing all the male Graingerfords in the process, including Billy.
Jim and Huck find themselves past Cairo, and two con men: The Duke (Robbie Coltrane) and The King (Jason Robards), join Huck and Jim. The quartet land at Phelps Landing, and The King and The Duke impersonate British members of the Wilks family to con 3 sisters, Mary Jane (Anne Heche), Julia (Renee O'Connor), and Susan (Laura Bell Bundy) out of their fortune.
Meanwhile, Jim has been taken to prison for Huck's murder, and tells Huck about his dead father, thus Huck rebukes Jim. Huck puts the money in the coffin of a recently-deceased family member. He exposes The King and The Duke as con men to Mary Jane, and tells her to tell the town at 10:00, when a scheduled steamboat to Cairo departs.
Dr. Robinson (Tom Aldredge) doesn't trust The King and The Duke's scheme, and the real members of the family, whom The King and The Duke were impersonating, show up. The town dig up the buried coffin where the money was put, and thus tar and feather The Duke and The King, and become an angry mob. Huck breaks Jim out of prison, but are spotted by the mob in the process.
While escaping, Huck is shot in the back by a man. Jim decides to sacrifice his chance to escape to freedom, and carries Huck to the mob, allowing himself to be hanged. Before the mob can hang Jim, however, Mary Jane, Julia, and Susan arrive and stop the hanging from happening. The mob sets Jim free, and Huck passes out.
Huck wakes up in the Wilks homestead, and learns that one of Huck's caretakers (Mary Louise Wilson) died, setting Jim free in her will. The other caretaker (Dana Ivey) plans on civilizing Huck, but Huck, narrating the story, says, "I've been there before." The film ends with Huck running off into the sunset.
- Elijah Wood as Huckleberry "Huck" Finn
- Courtney B. Vance as Jim
- Robbie Coltrane as The Duke
- Jason Robards as The King
- Ron Perlman as Pap Finn
- Dana Ivey as Widow Douglas
- Mary Louise Wilson as Miss Watson
- Anne Heche as Mary Jane Wilks
- James Gammon as Deputy Hines
- Paxton Whitehead as Harvey Wilks
- Tom Aldredge as Dr. Robinson
- Renée O'Connor as Julia Wilks
- Laura Bundy as Susan Wilks
- Curtis Armstrong as Country Jake
- Frances Conroy as Scrawny Shanty Woman
- Daniel Tamberelli as Ben Rodgers
- Garette Ratliff Henson as Billy Grangerford
- Stephen Sommers (cameo) as Silhouetted man
Archie Moore, who played Jim in the 1960 version of the novel, appears in a cameo as a slave who warns Huck about the two feuding families, saying "lots of people are going to die today."
The movie was filmed entirely in Natchez, Mississippi.
The Adventures of Huck Finn was a financial success, debuting at No.2 at the box office, and grossing over $24 million against a $6.5 million budget.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and currently holds a 69% "fresh" rating at review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes. 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."
- Tom and Huck - A 1995 Disney film, co-written and produced by Sommers, adapted from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
- List of films featuring slavery
- Fox, David J. (1993-04-06). "Weekend Box Office : 4 Oscars Give 'Unforgiven' a Boost". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- "The Adventures of Huck Finn :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 1993-04-02. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
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