huck finn

The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993 film)

The Adventures of Huck Finn is a 1993 Disney film starring Elijah Wood and Courtney B. Vance; it is based on Mark Twain's novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The film follows a boy named Huckleberry Finn and an escaped slave named Jim, who travel the Mississippi River together and overcome various obstacles along the way. The movie received a "PG" rating from the MPAA for some mild violence and language. This movie was filmed entirely in Mississippi.

Plot

The movie begins with Huckleberry Finn, who is currently in a foster home in case Pap might come looking for him there.

That night as Huck is about to leave, Pap (Ron Perlman) sneaks into his house and catches him in his room. He kidnaps Huck by carrying him over the shoulder and takes him to his shack in the woods. It is revealed that Pap is after some amount of money Huck’s mother has left him in her will. Fearing for his life, as Pap, half-drunk, did try to kill him once to inherit the money, Huck evades his father by faking his own death. Now away from the strains of civilized life and the abuse from his father, he is free to do whatever he pleases. Incidentally he meets with Jim on the deserted Island he’s staying in. Jim tells him he overheard Miss Watson thinking of selling him down South to New Orleans, where he will be away from his wife and kids so he used the commotion surrounding Huck’s death that morning as an opportunity to run away. Jim plans to raft down the Mississippi river to Cairo, where he can then go North to the free states and eventually raise enough money to buy his family back. Huck initially expresses disgust at his plans but considering he can’t go back to the Widow Douglass anyway, he offers to help Jim with his escape.

Along the way the duo encounter some adventures that somewhat deepen their relationship and challenge Huck’s conventional views of society such as prejudice toward blacks. One night during a fog they miss their chance to head for Cairo, forcing them to buy a steamboat passage up the current. Their plans are further delayed when two conmen, the King (Jason Robards) and Duke (Robbie Coltrane), impose themselves on their journey. The King and Duke extort Huck and Jim into helping them pull off a scheme to rob a rich local family of their inheritance. They pose as the Wilks brothers who have come from England to inherit their dead brother, Peter’s, entire fortune. Huck, who sympathizes with one of the Uncle’s nieces, Mary Jane (Anne Heche), tells her about the King and Duke’s scheme. At about the same time the real Wilks brothers arrive and expose the King and Duke, who get tarred and feathered by the angry mob. Huck escapes the crowd and gets Jim to catch the steamboat but the two are caught by the mob and the mob attempts to hang Jim. They are saved when Mary Jane comes and proclaims their innocence.

Huck later awakes in Widow Douglas’ house and discovers that Miss Watson recently died but not before setting Jim free. As a reward for helping them get their fortune back, the Wilks brothers gives Huck a large amount of money, who gives it to Jim to buy back his family. Huck then decides he has had it with civilized life and runs away.

Background/Production

  • Director Stephen Sommers makes a cameo in the film as the man silhouetted against the fog banging a pot.

Cast

Differences between the novel and the film

  • In the movie Huck's fortune amounts to $600; in the novel, it is $6000.
  • The conmen are tarred and feathered in the film; in the novel, they escape and are tarred and feathered later.
  • The Grangerford son that Huck befriends is Billy; in the novel, he is named Buck.
  • In the movie the Grangerford's feud with the Shepardsons is 30 years old; in the novel it is 20.
  • Tom Sawyer is not mentioned in the film whereas in the novel he plays a strong role.
  • In the novel Tom Sawyer gets shot in the leg; in the movie Huck gets shot.
  • Huck wears shoes throughout the film, as opposed to the book, in which he is almost exclusively barefoot.
  • The ending is significantly different from the novel: in the novel, Jim is sold to a farmer who happens to be a relative of Tom Sawyer by the King after they escape from the mob at Peter Wilks's grave. Huck then goes after Jim to rescue him, and runs into Tom Sawyer at the farm. He and Tom then conspire to break Jim free, the process taking up several chapters of the novel and ending with Tom being shot, and revealing Jim to be a free man after Jim is caught once more. In the movie, Jim is never caught, and Huck and Jim are blamed for the gold-stealing. Huck is shot during the chase, and Jim is saved from hanging by Mary Jane, after which he is told that he is free.
  • The incident with Peter's gold is at the climax of the movie, wheras it is nearer to the middle of the novel.

References

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