The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Adaptations and influences

Film and television

  • Tom Sawyer (1917), directed by William Desmond Taylor, starring Jack Pickford as Tom[3]
  • Tom Sawyer (1930), directed by John Cromwell, starring Jackie Coogan as Tom[4]
  • Tom Sawyer (1936), Soviet Union version directed by Lazar Frenkel and Gleb Zatvornitsky[5]
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), Technicolor film by the Selznick Studio, starring Tommy Kelly as Tom and directed by Norman Taurog; most notable is the cave sequence designed by William Cameron Menzies[6]
  • "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1960), BBC television series in 6 episodes starring Fred Smith as Tom and Janina Faye as Becky. The series' theme song was "John Gilbert is the Boat", sung by Peggy Seeger[7]
  • Les aventur Sawyer (1968), French/German made-for-television miniseries directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner, starring Roland Demongeot as Tom and Marc Di Napoli as Huck[8]
  • Aventurile lui Tom Sawyer (1968), Romanian movie directed by Mircea Albulescu.
  • The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1968), a half-hour live-action/animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions[9]
  • Las Aventuras de Juliancito (1969), Mexican film[10]
  • Tom Sawyer (1973), musical adaptation by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, with Johnny Whitaker in the title role, Jeff East as Huck Finn, Jodie Foster as Becky Thatcher, and Celeste Holm as Aunt Polly.[11]
  • Tom Sawyer (1973), TV movie version sponsored by Dr Pepper, starring Buddy Ebsen as Muff Potter and filmed in Upper Canada Village[12]
  • Huckleberry Finn and His Friends (1979), TV series[13]
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1980), Japanese anime TV series by Nippon Animation, part of the World Masterpiece Theater, aired in the United States on HBO
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (Приключения Тома Сойера и Гекльберри Финна), 1981 Soviet Union version directed by Stanislav Govorukhin[14]
  • Tom Sawyer (1984), Canadian claymation version produced by Hal Roach studios
  • Tom and Huck (1995), starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Tom and Brad Renfro as Huck Finn[15]
  • Tom Sawyer (2000), animated adaptation featuring the characters as anthropomorphic animals instead of humans with an all-star voice cast, including country singers Rhett Akins, Mark Wills, Lee Ann Womack, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams Jr. as well as Betty White[16]
  • Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn (2014), starring Joel Courtney as Tom and Jake T. Austin as Huck.[17]


  • In 1956, We're From Missouri, a musical adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, with book, music and lyrics by Tom Boyd, was presented by the students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
  • In 1960, Tom Boyd's musical version (re-titled Tom Sawyer) was presented professionally at Theatre Royal Stratford East in London, England, and in 1961 toured provincial theatres in England.
  • In 2001, the musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Ken Ludwig and Don Schlitz, debuted on Broadway.
  • In 2015, the Mark Twain House and Museum selected 17-year-old Noah Altshuler (writer of Making the Move), as Mark Twain Playwright in Residence, to create a modern, meta-fictional adaptation of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" for regional and commercial production.[18]


Tom Sawyer: A Ballet in Three Acts premiered on October 14, 2011 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. The score was by composer Maury Yeston, with choreography by William Whitener, artistic director of the Kansas City Ballet.[19][20] A review in The New York Times observed: "It’s quite likely that this is the first all-new, entirely American three-act ballet: it is based on an American literary classic, has an original score by an American composer and was given its premiere by an American choreographer and company. ... Both the score and the choreography are energetic, robust, warm, deliberately naïve (both ornery and innocent), in ways right for Twain."[21]


On November 30, 2011, to celebrate Twain’s 176th birthday, the Google Doodle was a scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. [22]


According to an October 2012 article published in Smithsonian magazine, Twain named his fictional character after a San Francisco fireman whom he met in June 1863. The real Tom Sawyer was a local hero, famous for rescuing 90 passengers after a shipwreck. The two remained friendly during Twain's three-year stay in San Francisco, often drinking and gambling together.[23]

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.