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Huckleberry Finn (1920)

Huckleberry Finn, a rambuctious boy adventurer chafing under the bonds of civilization, escapes his humdrum world and his selfish, plotting father by sailing a raft down the Mississippi ... See full summary »


Julia Crawford Ivers, Mark Twain (novel)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lewis Sargent Lewis Sargent ... Huckleberry Finn
Katherine Griffith ... Widow Douglas
Martha Mattox ... Miss Watson
Frank Lanning ... Huck's Father
Orral Humphrey ... The Duke
Tom Bates Tom Bates ... The King (as Tom D. Bates)
Gordon Griffith ... Tom Sawyer
Edythe Chapman ... Aunt Polly
Thelma Salter ... Becky Thatcher
George Reed ... Jim
L.M. Wells L.M. Wells ... Judge Thatcher
Harry L. Rattenberry Harry L. Rattenberry ... Uncle Harvey
Esther Ralston ... Mary Jane Wilks
Fay Lemport Fay Lemport ... Johanna
Eunice Murdock Moore Eunice Murdock Moore ... Mrs. Sally Phelps (as Eunice Van Moore)


Huckleberry Finn, a rambuctious boy adventurer chafing under the bonds of civilization, escapes his humdrum world and his selfish, plotting father by sailing a raft down the Mississippi River. Accompanying him is Jim, a slave running away from being sold. Together the two strike a bond of friendship that takes them through harrowing events and thrilling adventures. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

29 February 1920 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

茶目小僧 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was considered lost until 1962, when a 35mm archive copy was discovered in Denmark. In 2006, George Eastman House began restoration of the film, re-translating from Danish to English and recreating the color tinting. Unfortunately, many of the film's colloquialisms were lost in translation and had to be speculatively recreated using the initial novel and press material related to the film's initial release for references. As of 2011, no existing copies of the original English language version are known to exist. See more »


[first lines]
Huckleberry Finn: You need to write a new story on me, don't you? Here you go - here is something to start from...
See more »

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User Reviews

The first--and perhaps best--adaptation of Twain's classic
15 October 2018 | by Revelator_See all my reviews

The first film adaptation of Huckleberry Finn remains one of the best, despite the ravages of time and a major script problem. Filmed only a decade after Mark Twain's death, this film is free from the slickness of later Hollywood adaptations and has a truly convincing young lead instead of a cutesy child actor. As Huck, Lewis Sargent is completely convincing: he's a ragged, likable mutt that Twain would have approved of (as he does in the film!). He makes Mickey Rooney look like a well-groomed phony. George Reed plays a mature, sometimes sedate Jim, but he's undeserved by the script and missing footage (including his escape). Huck and Jim's friendship doesn't comes across as deeply as it should, despite the excellence of the actors, and that is a major flaw.

William Desmond Taylor is better known for his unsolved murder than his films, but he was a skilled director with a fluid, advanced style. This film's pacing and style were advanced for 1920 and hold up well today. The settings and art direction have rustic, old-time authenticity: the filmmakers emulated Edward W. Kemble's illustrations and shot the outdoors scenes in the Sacramento River Delta (where later Finns where shot as well, since it was closer to Los Angeles than the Mississippi River and looked just as good). Since the film only survived in an incomplete print held by the Danish Film Archive, the intertitles had to be translated and recreated by the George Eastman Museum, which used text direct from Twain.

There has yet to be a great film made from this classic novel, but Taylor's production features the best Huck and is the closest to Twain's own time, which makes it worth seeing more than most later films of Huckleberry Finn.

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