- 1 hr 44 min
The 1973 musical Tom Sawyer is one of the first movies that the Sherman Brothers collaborated on after many years of writing songs together for Disney. They wrote all of the songs for this movie, including "A Man's Gotta Be (What He Was Born to Be)" and "If'n I Was God." Based on the 19th century novel by Mark Twain, the film focuses on the trouble-making young Tom Sawyer, who lives and plays along the Mississippi River. Tom is played by Johnny Whitaker, a child actor who had roles in many films of the day. Jodie Foster, also a prolific child actor, plays his love interest Becky Thatcher, while Jeff East plays his rough-and-tumble buddy Huckleberry Finn and Celeste Holm is Tom's Aunt Polly. Other characters include the menacing Injun Joe, who is played by Henry O'Brien, and Tom's friend Muff Potter, played by Warren Oates, who becomes critical to the plot late in the movie. Over the course of the movie, which was directed by Don Taylor, Tom gets into many different adventures, including tricking his friends into painting a fence for him, playing at being a pirate and attending his own funeral. The movie draws directly from the book but differs in that many of the events are told primarily through song. These songs also are introspective at times, getting into the heads of various characters, particularly Tom. The movie was filmed in Missouri and has a cheerful look to it, recapturing the feel of a bygone era. It was produced by MGM and is 103 minutes in length. Tom Sawyer is considered to be a film appropriate for the whole family as its main characters are children and it is based on a classic work of literature.