Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer

Synopsis of Movie

Mark Twain’s story of a little troublemaker returned to theaters in 1973 as a big-screen musical, simply titled Tom Sawyer. Ace songwriting team Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Charlotte’s Web and dozens more) wrote the songs, score and screenplay for the film, which featured returning screen veteran Celeste Holm as Aunt Polly, young star Johnny Whitaker as Tom, relative newcomer Jodie Foster as Becky Thatcher, and Jeff East in his screen debut as Huckleberry Finn.

Set in 1850’s Hannibal, Missouri, the film follows Tom on his well-known series of schemes and adventures. The famed whitewashing scene is included, as is the episode in which Tom and Huck set off to play pirates, are taken for lost in the mighty Mississippi and raise a tremendous stir by showing up at their own funeral.

Tom gets his first kiss from schoolmate Becky, then gets his first taste of serious danger when he witnesses a late night murder. Throughout, Aunt Polly provides equal doses of matronly love and frontier discipline to the mischievous but good-hearted Tom.

The Sherman brothers’ song score was nominated for an Academy Award, as were the film’s down-home art direction and costume design. Filmed partly on location in Missouri, Tom Sawyer was a taste of the “good old days,” where life was simple and young boys loved to complicate it. A sequel, Huckleberry Finn, followed a year later.

Movie Release History

1973 - Tom Sawyer

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio

United Artists


Tom Sawyer Johnny Whitaker
Aunt Polly Celeste Holm
Becky Thatcher Jodie Foster
Huckleberry Finn Jeff East
Muff Potter Warren Oates
Widder Douglas Lucille Benson
Doc Robinson Richard Eastham
Ben Rogers Steve Hogg
Joe Jefferson Kevin Jefferson
Mr. Dobbins Henry Jones
Cousin Mary Susan Joyce
Constable Clemens Sandy Kenyon
Judge Thatcher Noah Keen
Blacksmith James A. Kuhn
Injun Joe Kunu Hank
Cousin Sidney Joshua Hill Lewis
Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lynch
Billy Fisher Sean Summers
Clayton Dub Taylor
Small Boy Jonathan Taylor
Girl Anne Voss
Saloon Girl Page Williams

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