Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (1938): Norman Taurog’s Oscar-Nominated Color Version

David O. Selznick’s color production of the famous novel by Mark Twain is the first, best, and most faithful of the many Hollywood renditions.

Directed by the prolific filmmaker Norman Taurog in a functional way, the picture stars Tommy Kelly as Tom Sawyer and Jackie Moran as Huckleberry Finn.

The movie captures the sense of a Mississippi summer and the spirit of the adventurous book.

After accidentally witnessing a murder, Tom and Huck run away to become pirates, swearing to never reveal their secret. But when a man is wrongfully accused, they know they’ve got to come forward with the truth.

William Cameron Menzies and Lyle Wheeler oversaw the great Art Direction-Interior Decoration, which was deservedly nominated for an Oscar.  The stunning Technicolor camerawork is by Wong Howe.


Oscar Nominations: 1

Interior Decoration: Lyle Wheeler

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The Interior Decoration Oscar went to another period piece, “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” starring Errol Flynn.


UA (Selznick International Pictures)