The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939 film)

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
TThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Thorpe
Produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Written by Mark Twain (novel)
Hugo Butler
Waldo Salt (uncredited dialogue)
Starring Mickey Rooney
Walter Connolly
William Frawley
Rex Ingram
Music by Franz Waxman
Cinematography John F. Seitz
Edited by Frank E. Hull
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • February 10, 1939 (1939-02-10)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a 1939 film adaptation of Mark Twain's classic novel of the same name, starring Mickey Rooney in the title role. The supporting cast features Walter Connolly, William Frawley and Rex Ingram. It was remade in 1974 as a musical.



Most critics found the film mediocre. B. R. Crisler of The New York Times felt that the picture was "more Mickey than Huckleberry" and called it an "average, workmanlike piece of cinematic hokum" that "affords little, if any, insight into the realistic boyhood world of which old Mark wrote with such imperishable humor."[1] Variety wrote that the adaptation "has not been able to catch the rare and sparkling humor and general sincerity of the author's original. Furthermore, young Rooney seems too mature and assured in manner and expression for his years. Although he troupes in fine style, impression remains that it's a theatric presentation."[2] Film Daily called the treatment of the story "very flat and mechanical and uninteresting," adding, "Mickey Rooney does his best, and his fans may accept him as he appears and think he is great. To the lovers of Mark Twain it can only prove a disappointment."[3] Harrison's Reports called it "just fairly good entertainment."[4] John Mosher of The New Yorker called it "a perfunctory, commonplace job, pretty creaky and in the manner of those revival pieces some think quaint ... Aside from being a step for Mr. Rooney, this picture accomplishes nothing."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The New York Times Film Reviews, Volume 3: 1939-1948. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press. 1970. p. 1584. 
  2. ^ "Film Reviews". Variety (New York: Variety, Inc.): p. 12. February 15, 1939. 
  3. ^ "Reviews of the New Films". Film Daily (New York: Wid's Films and Film Folk, Inc.): p. 6. February 17, 1939. 
  4. ^ "Huckleberry Finn". Harrison's Reports (New York: Harrison's Reports, Inc.): p. 30. February 25, 1939. 
  5. ^ Mosher, John (March 4, 1939). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker (New York: F-R Publishing Corp.): p. 72-73. 

External links[edit]