The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Synopsis of Movie

Mark Twain’s roguish boy hero Huck Finn came to the screen in 1939, as MGM presented its adaptation of the author's classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Roguish boy star Mickey Rooney took on the title role, a perfect fit for the Andy Hardy star.

Twain’s story chronicles the adventurous journey of Huckleberry Finn and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, in the mid-19th-century American South. Huck runs away for two good reasons: 1) He can’t stand the smothering attention of his guardian, widow Douglas, and 2) He fears the wrath of his wicked Pap.

Huck and Jim float down the Mississippi on a homemade raft, encountering no small share of trouble on the way. Some of that trouble comes in the form of con men “The King” and “The Duke,” who get Huck and Jim mixed up in their schemes. Later, when Jim is arrested for Huck’s murder (the boy is still in hiding), young Huck must decide whether to save his friend or protect himself.

The novel was an adventure story with deeper issues of race and loyalty. MGM’s version stayed fairly close to Twain’s original, with strong performances from Rooney and from Rex Ingram as Jim to cement the relationship between the two.

The film performed well in theaters, and in the 1960’s, a thirty-minute version was released to schools, helping introduce thousands of schoolchildren to the escapades of these classic characters.

Movie Release History

1939 - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Huckleberry Finn Mickey Rooney
"The King" Walter Connolly
"The Duke" William Frawley
Jim Rex Ingram
Mary Jane Lynne Carver
Susan Jo Ann Sayers
Captain Brandy Minor Watson
Widow Douglass Elizabeth Risdon
"Pap" Finn Victor Kilian
Miss Watson Clara Blandick

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