Twilight Time Blu-ray: Tom Sawyer (1973) & Huckleberry Finn (1974)

Company: Twilight Time

Starring:  Warren Oates, Paul Winfield, Gary Merrill, Arthur O'Connell, Jodie Foster, Henry Jones, Celeste Holm, Jeff East, Natalie Trundy, David Wayne, Johnny Whitaker, Lucille Benson, Dub Taylor, Harvey Korman

My Review and Thoughts:

My Rating:
Sawyer: 4 out of 5
Finn: 4 out of 5

Two fun filled classic films. Both equally entertaining. I am a huge fan of the books, and any film adaption of those books. Here are two classic adaptions of these classic stories. I don’t know what my childhood would have been like without the books Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I do know that I would have lost a spark of adventure and naughtiness without the wonderful works of Mark Twain. I think what I like about both adaptions is the music appeal. The approach to two classic stories and making and showcasing music around them, just stand out to me. Both stray from the original books, but each still maintains that classic storybook appeal that has garnered a cult following over the years.  

First up Tom Sawyer.

Starring the one and only childhood actor Johnny Whitaker as Tom Sawyer. Whitaker was a priceless example of countless movies growing up. Films that sparked my childhood wonderment of acting. Remembered most from his character Jody Davis on the long running tv series Family Affair, but to me it would be Tom Sawyer that I always tend to remember him from the most. I also loved him in one of my favorite cult childhood TV shows Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Tom Sawyer is a priceless film that I always tend to go back to and watch. over and over, and now I have a priceless Special Edition Blu-ray by the one and only company Twilight Time to experience a High Definition 1080p perfection.

Starring in Tom Sawyer is the one and only Warren Oates, who to me was a true actor that owned and created persona's in his films like no other. Oates to me was an actor who never got the stardom, or house hold name reality that he deserved. He was a true bad ass character that left lingering examples of a no holds bar style of performance, and that is what makes him more dynamic to remember. Sadly, he died way to soon, 53 years old was a true shame. I highly recommend anyone who has not adventured into seeking out films that Warren Oates starred in, should do so. He was also honored with another Twilight Time Blu-ray for one of his best performances, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, which is a prime example of the wonderment of this actor. I also highly recommend one of my personal favorites 1973’s Dillinger. No matter the film it’s always a treat to watch Oates perform.

That is what is great about this movie, a vast cast of performers. So many wonderful examples of actors and actresses of the old days. Also starring the amazing Henry Jones. Over 200 performances in his long career. He was an amazing character actor that started in 1946 and worked all the way till 1995. TV to movies he aced many styles of characters. Starring in such greats like 1956’s The Bad Seed, 1957’s 3:10 to Yuma, 1958’s Vertigo, 1969’s Support your Local Sheriff, 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1971’s Support Your Local Gunfighter, 1990’s Dick Tracy, 1990’s Arachnophobia, and so many others. Also, a wonderful character actor, an actor on the sidelines, or hidden without any dialogue at times, and yet he was always able to stand out and perform perfectly no matter how small or great the part was. He has been honored several times with Twilight Time Special Edition Blu-ray’s Including a personal favorite of mine 9 to 5.

Directed by the wonderful Don Taylor. Taylor was a master talent in many fields from actor, producer, writer and director. He acted in well over 50 performances and directed well over 90 TV shows and movies. Started directing in 1956 and directed all the way to 1988. Something I love about Don Taylor is that he directed some of my favorite Drive-In B-movie classics. Great Science Fiction and horror films. He directed one of my personal all-time favorites 1971’s Escape from the Planet of the Apes. He also mastered such other greats as the wonderful 1977 The Island of Dr. Moreau, 1978’s Damien: Omen 2. The very underrated 1980’s The Final Countdown. He also directed countless TV films. I always felt Don Taylor was a truly underrated director and film visionary. He had a unique style and it stands out in many of his films.  

Next up 1974’s Huckleberry Finn.

Starring as Huckleberry in both films, which is a unique reality, the wonderful actor Jeff East. Still acting today after coming out of what look life retirement in 2009. He had dropped out of acting in 1993. He acted in many of my favorite cult films, the one and only 1978’s Superman. The underrated horror classic 1981's Deadly Blessing. The disturbing and brutally honest classic 1983’s The Day After. The horror classic and personal favorite of mine 1988’s Pumpkinhead. He was a regular in many Walt Disney TV productions, which I loved growing up watching. I think Jeff was amazing as Huckleberry Finn and created the character in a priceless way.

Starring the wonderful Paul Winfield. He started acting in the 1960's. He has done television and movies. He was always a wonderful character actor, always one of those characters in the background or the secondary character, but also created very memorable performances throughout his career. I will always remember him as Terrell in Star Trek the Wrath of Khan. He was a master talent at acting in such greats like 1978's King, where he played Rev. Martin Luther King in the wonderful miniseries. He captures perfectly his parts in, 72's Sounder, The Blue and the Grey Miniseries. Always a gifted character in many TV shows such as Wiseguy, 227, L.A. Law, Touched by an Angel and so many others. Sadly, he passed away in 2004. He crafted the character of Mad Billy in the wonderful film Conrack, which is a wonderful detailed performance and was also honored with a Twilight Time Special Edition Blu-ray.

Also in Huckleberry Finn, the master talent Arthur O’Connell. A massive character actor, starring in some of the greats, such as the masterpiece, 1959’s Anatomy of a Murder. The wild and fun action comedy adventure, 1965’s The Great Race. The wonderful science fiction, 1966’s Fantastic Voyage. The great family comedy, 1967’s The Reluctant Astronaut. The horror cult classic, 1972’s Ben. The wonderful special effect action adventure, 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure, you get my point. He starred in many wonderful films from television and feature film. He is one of those performers that always stood out, no matter how small the part is. He was the very definition of acting. He also was honored with another Twilight Time film special edition release April Love.

Huckleberry Finn was directed by J. Lee Thompson who in my viewpoint was an important director that created so many wonderful tough guy films. He worked with Charles Bronson countless times. They were more than just that basic tough guy style of film, because they had a unique substance to them, that gave a tight structured plot. Thompson used Bronson in the films, 1976’s St. Ives, 1977’s White Buffalo, and 1980’s Caboblanco, and 10 to Midnight. Thompson was a truly gifted director that had an eye for spell binding pieces of cinema. He was an Academy Award nominated director. He mastered the action great that he was nominated for: 1961’s The Guns of Navarone. Thompson in his lifetime of directing was nominated for Bafta Awards, Golden Globes, Palme d’Or Cannes Film Festival, and many others. His talent shined. He mastered such greats like the one and only 1962’s Cape Fear. One of my personal favorite guilty pleasures, 1972’s Conquest of the planet of the Apes. He also directed many lower budget; or films that have gone on to become cult following style cinema. 1981’s horror, Happy Birthday to Me, 1985’s King Solomon’s Mine, 1986’s Firewalker. He could direct Oscar worthy films, and he could direct Cheesy Drive-in style of films. 10 to Midnight was not his last film with Bronson. They would go on to make later adventures, The Evil That Men Do, Murphy’s Law, Death Wish 4, Messenger of Death, and lastly Kinjite Forbidden Secrets. He could direct many different styles of cinema and that is why I feel he is a truly one of a kind director. I think Huckleberry Finn is one of those films that have a cult like style following. Twilight Time has honored many of Thompson’s films as special edition Blu-ray’s.


My Rating 5 out of 5

Another fantastic job and equally fantastic product. Both have never looked or sounded any better. Both are amazing in High Definition. Perfection in imagery and sound. Crystal clear beauty. Perfection that only Twilight Time can do.

VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: Tom Sawyer – English 5.1 DTS-HD MA / English 4.0 DTS-HD MA / English 2.0 DTS-HD MA, Huckleberry Finn – English 2.0 DTS-HD MA? SUBTITLES: English


My Rating: 4 out of 5

You get a wonderful collection of special features. An amazing array of quality. You get the amazing isolated music scores. Plus, many features, awesome commentaries to highly praise. Amazing quality in the extras department.

Isolated Music Tracks: There are many wonderful composers to the music throughout the films the amazing Richard M. Sherman. The wonderful Robert B. Sherman. The fantastic Fred Werner and the one and only master John Williams. John Williams created his ultimate magic for countless films. His excellent style of thought provoking and intense music creates so many soundtracks, and in this soundtrack the musical score is no different. His style is one of a kind and really needs no write up. He is one of the best music composers and visionaries of sound that has ever graced the world of music and cinema. Earthquake, The Towering Inferno, Jaws, Star Wars A New Hope, Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Return of the Jedi, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, E.T., and I could go on and on, why bother, everything John Williams has ever done is a master talent. Pure brilliance. Pure mastery. John Williams is a true icon of cinema and music.

Tom Sawyer Audio Commentary with Screenwriter Songwriter Richard M. Sherman and Music Producer, Historian Bruce Kimmel

Tom Sawyer Audio Commentary with Director Don Taylor and Screenwriters/Songwriters Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

Tom Sawyer River Song Featurette

Tom Sawyer Rehearsal with John Williams and the Sherman Brothers

Original Theatrical Trailers


Two priceless cinema gems on a wonderful 1080p high definition Blu-ray. Twilight Time did another amazing job in picking and resurrecting two older films in a new high-quality product. Priceless childhood memories. Priceless Blu-ray. 


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