The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Adaptations and influences

Film and television

  • Tom Sawyer (1917), directed by William Desmond Taylor, starring Jack Pickford as Tom[14]
  • Tom Sawyer (1930), directed by John Cromwell, starring Jackie Coogan as Tom[15]
  • Tom Sawyer (1936), Soviet Union version directed by Lazar Frenkel and Gleb Zatvornitsky[16]
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), Technicolor film by the Selznick Studio, starring Tommy Kelly as Tom and directed by Norman Taurog; notable is the cave sequence designed by William Cameron Menzies[17]
  • Tom Sawyer (1956), a musical episode of the U.S. Steel Hour, written by Frank Luther and starring John Sharpe as Tom and Jimmy Boyd as Huck.
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1960), BBC television series in 7 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[18]
  • Les aventures de Tom Sawyer (1968), Romanian/French/West German television miniseries directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner, starring Roland Demongeot as Tom and Marc Di Napoli as Huck[19]
  • 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[20]
  • Las Aventuras de Juliancito (1969), Mexican film[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer (1973), TV movie version sponsored by Dr Pepper, starring Buddy Ebsen as Muff Potter and filmed in Upper Canada Village[23]
  • Páni kluci (1976), Czech movie directed by Věra Plívová-Šimková
  • Huckleberry Finn and His Friends (1979), TV series[24]
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1980), Japanese anime television 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 3 episodes version directed by Stanislav Govorukhin[25]
  • Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (1982), a made-for-TV movie, starring Patrick Creadon as Tom and Anthony Michael Hall as Huck.
  • Sawyer and Finn (1983), American television series pilot in which Tom Sawyer (Peter Horton) and Huck Finn (Michael Dudikoff) reunite by chance 10 years after the original story and seek new adventures in the Old West.
  • 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.[26]
  • The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1998), Canadian version, written by Bob Merrill and directed by William R. Kowalchuk Jr. Uses the voices of Ryan Slater, Christopher Lloyd and Kirsten Dunst.[27]
  • 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.[28]
  • Thomas Sawyer, as a young adult, is a character in the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, portrayed by Shane West. Here, Tom is a U.S. Secret Service agent who joins the team's fight against Professor Moriarty.
  • Tom Sawyer (2011), German version, directed by Hermine Huntgeburth.
  • Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn (2014), starring Joel Courtney as Tom and Jake T. Austin as Huck.
  • Band of Robbers, a 2015 American crime comedy film written and directed by the Nee Brothers.[29]


  • 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.[30][31]
  • In 1981, the play The Boys in Autumn by the American dramatist Bernhard Sabath premiered in San Francisco. In the play, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn meet again as old men. Despite good reviews, the play has remained largely unknown.[32]
  • In the 1985 musical Big River by William Hauptman and Roger Miller, Tom is a secondary character, played by John Short from 1985 to 1987.
  • In 2001, the musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Ken Ludwig and Don Schlitz, debuted on Broadway.[33]
  • 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.[34]


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.[35][36] 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."[37]

Comic books

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has been adapted into comic book form many times:

  • Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (Stoll & Edwards Co., 1925) – collection of the comic strip of the same name by Clare Victor Dwiggins, syndicated by the McClure Syndicate beginning in 1918
  • Classics Illustrated #50: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Gilberton, August 1948) – adapted by Harry G. Miller and Aldo Rubano; reprinted extensively
  • Dell Junior Treasury #10: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Dell Comics, October 1957) – adapted by Frank Thorne
  • Joyas Literarias Juveniles #60: "Tom Sawyer detective" (Editorial Bruguera, 1972) – adapted by Miguel Cussó and Edmond Fernández Ripoll
  • Tom Sawyer (Pendulum Illustrated Classics, Pendulum Press, 1973) – adapted by Irwin Shapiro and E. R. Cruz;[38] reprinted in Marvel Classics Comics #7 (1976) and a number of other places
  • Joyas Literarias Juveniles #182: "Las aventuras de Tom Sawyer" (Editorial Bruguera, 1977) – adapted by Juan Manuel González Cremona and Xirinius [as Jaime Juez]
  • Classics Illustrated #9: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (First Comics, May 1990) – adapted by Mike Ploog; reprinted in Classics Illustrated #19 (NBM, 2014)
  • Tom Sawyer (An All-Action Classic #2) (Sterling Publishing, 2008) – adapted by Rad Sechrist
  • Classics Illustrated Deluxe #4: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Papercutz, 2009) – adapted by Jean-David Morvan, Frederique Voulyze, and Severine Le Fevebvre
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Capstone Publishers, 2007) – adapted by Daniel Strickland
  • Manga Classics: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (UDON Entertainment Manga Classics, April 2018)[39] – adapted by Crystal Silvermoon and Kuma Chan

Video games

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, an action-platformer for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released by SeTa in February 1989 in Japan and August that same year in North America.
  • Square's Tom Sawyer, a role-playing video game produced by Square. It was released in March 1989 for Japan on the Famicom.


On November 30, 2011, to celebrate Twain's 176th birthday, the Google Doodle was a scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.[40]

Theme Park attractions

An opening day attraction at Six Flags Over Mid America (Now Six Flags St Louis) was Injun Joe's Cave which told the story of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher as they escaped from Injun Joe after his murdering of Dr. Robinson. They attraction was open until 1978 when it was replaced with "The Time Tunnel". To this day, the building that housed this former attraction is home to "Justice League Battle for Metropolis.

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