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Watching The Great American Read: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain #book2movie

The Great American Read Top 100 Books: Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Since there are so many movies based on the Great American Read’s Top 100 list, I’ve been using the weekly Saturday Matinee to highlight some of those pairings. Just a friendly reminder to read ’em before—or after—you see ’em. 

This week’s offering is Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer but I can’t help wondering if we’ve left this book behind in a more innocent time we can never return to. Do young boys and girls still devour this classic? Is Twain still relevant? 

There have been several screen adaptations over the years, the first in 1938 won the Fascist Cup and was nominated for the Mussolini Cup at the Venice Film Festival for Best Foreign Film.  So, um, moving on ... 

Fast forward to 1973 when Jodie Foster played Becky Thatcher to Johnny Whitaker’s Tom Sawyer. Some of us remember Whittaker best as Jody in A Family Affair. Celeste Holmes is Aunt Polly with Warren Oates as Muff Potter. The score, costume design and art direction all got Oscar nominations so we know the production values are up to snuff. It’s available to stream on Amazon Prime. 

Warning: IT'S A MUSICAL! 

In the nineties, Twain’s classic got a makeover with Jonathan Taylor Thomas from the wildy popular Home Improvement television show and Brad Renfro taking on Tom and Huck as “the original bad boys.’’ 

This one is available on Prime, iTunes, Google, Vudu and YouTube.

There was another remake as recently as 2014, notable if only for the presence of Val Kilmer as Mark Twain! Joel Courtney plays Tom, Jake T. Austin is Huck with Katherine McNamara as Becky. 

You can find Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn on iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, GooglePlay, YouTube and Vudu.

Have you read Twain’s classic?