TOM SAWYER (1973)

THE PLOT THUS FAR

Tom Sawyer and his pal Huckleberry Finn have great adventures on the Mississippi River, pretending to be pirates, attending their own funeral, and witnessing a murder.

WHAT WE THOUGHT

“Tom Sawyer” is a musical take on the classic tale by Mark Twain. Most of the film revolves around the murder charge that town drunk Muff Potter faces early in the film. Warren Oates plays Potter with earnest focus, but it’s still odd as hell to see Oates in a musical. The rest of the highlights are hit along the way. Becky Thatcher wins hearts, Tom’s Aunt tries to keep him out of trouble and the boys witness their own funeral. It’s classic 19th Century Americana at its best. Thankfully, they don’t have to tackle the sensitive subject of Huck’s urbane friend. That being said, due to the plot shifts…I wouldn’t recommend the film to kids trying to get a grasp on the original novel.

The 1973 take doesn’t get enough love. This was the version that I watched growing up, as WDRB used to air it like crazy back when they first became a FOX station. It was weird seeing Jodie Foster so young, as this was before the releases of “The Accused” and “Silence of the Lambs”. It’s not like I was watching those movies back then, but I was well aware of Miss Foster. The Sherman Brothers music really pops on this disc, as well as John Williams’ score. I’m not a huge fan of musicals, but this film still wins me over.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for a vintage musical. The Dolby 2.0 track keeps the action up front. Plus, the transfer doesn’t sport most of the typical standard definition issues. In the end, it’s worth a purchase to fans.

RELEASE DATE: 03/24/2015

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