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Huckleberry Finn
Directed by J. Lee Thompson
Produced by Arthur P. Jacobs
Written by Robert B. Sherman,
Richard M. Sherman,
Mark Twain
Starring Jeff East
Paul Winfield
Harvey Korman
Music by Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Fred Werner
Cinematography László Kovács
Editing by Michael F. Anderson
Studio APJAC Productions
Reader's Digest
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) (USA) May 24, 1974
(Sweden) March 3, 1975
Running time 118 min.
Country U.S.
Language English
Preceded by Tom Sawyer

Huckleberry Finn is the 1974 musical film version of Mark Twain's American classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The movie was produced by Reader's Digest and Arthur P. Jacobs (known for his role in the production of the Planet of the Apes films) and starred Jeff East as Huckleberry Finn and Paul Winfield as Jim. The film contains original music and songs, such as "Freedom" and "Cairo, Illinois", by the popular Sherman Brothers, Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman.

This film followed the previous year's highly successful Tom Sawyer, based on Twain's novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, also produced and written by the same team and starring East in the role of Huckleberry Finn.

Contents

Plot

Huckleberry Finn (Jeff East) is a boy from Missouri who goes fishing and gets locked in the cabin by his nasty old Dad (Gary Merrill). He shoots the horse riders with a gun, befriends the slave Jim (Paul Winfield) riding a log boat. They live at a scoundrels' house (belonging to characters Harvey Korman and David Wayne), at one point, cutting up a mattress to take the money hidden within.

Setbacks in the film's production

The 1974 movie faced numerous setbacks in production. There was the sudden death of producer Arthur Jacobs halfway through the shoot. Director J. Lee Thompson had problems with the synchronized musical direction. The third major problem was the unfortunate timing of writer Robert B. Sherman's knee operation.

Without a producer, the film crew had difficulties managing the actors. Roberta Flack sang the classic, "Freedom" but insisted on having a guitar backing to her recording. She later threatened to sue if the original cast album was released with a dominant orchestral backing, and so although the album was recorded and printed, it was never released.

Despite these setbacks, the film still achieved some success and some of the film's songs, including "Freedom" are still considered classics.

Cast

Songs

The songs and score were written by the Sherman Brothers.

  1. "Freedom". Sung by Roberta Flack who did not approve of the musical arrangement and threatened a lawsuit if the original cast album were not remastered to her liking.
  2. "Cairo, Illinois". Sung by Jeff East and Paul Winfield.
  3. "Rotten Luck". Sung by Gary Merrill, the entire song was filmed sans-sync except for the final line of the song in which we see Merrill look back at the cabin and say, "And now my luck... It ain't so bad!". The unsynchronized direction of this musical number did not work very well and did not seem motivated or natural.
  4. "A Rose In A Bible".
  5. "Someday, Honey Darlin'". Sung by Paul Winfield.
  6. "Royalty!". Sung by Harvey Korman.
  7. "The Royal Nonesuch". Sung by Harvey Korman.
  8. "What's Right, What's Wrong?" Sung by Jeff East.
  9. "Into His Hands". Sung by Harvey Korman.

See also

References

  • Sherman, Robert B. Walt's Time: From Before to Beyond. Pages: 178-181, Santa Clarita: Camphor Tree Publishers, 1998.

External links

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