THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER (1938) C 93m dir: Norman Taurog
w/Tommy Kelly, Jackie Moran, Ann Gillis, May Robson, Walter Brennan, Victor Jory, David Holt, Victor Kilian, Nana Bryant, Olin Howlin
This David O. Selznick production is arguably the best adaptation of Mark Twain to reach the screen. The early use of Technicolor is interesting, with cinematographer James Wong Howe doing some fascinating experiments with lighting in the scenes in the cave.
From The Movie Guide: "Mark Twain's beloved Tom Sawyer comes to life in this excellent Selznick production, with Tommy Kelly portraying the brave, mischievous boy. He is caught between the manners of his very proper home, ruled by tough but loving Aunt Polly (May Robson), and the wild, roaming, trouble-seeking nature of his friend Huckleberry Finn, ably portrayed by Jackie Moran. The great Sawyer adventures are faithfully recreated --- the conning of the two boys into whitewashing his aunt's fence, a wild ride down the Mississippi on a raft, the witnessing of Injun Joe's crimes and his pursuit of Tom and the terrified Becky Sharp (Ann Gillis) into the giant cave. The incorrigible boys even witness their own funeral ceremony before informing the grieving townsfolk that they are still among the living. A lively production, featuring a quick pace, a chilling climax, and a surprising amount of wit."