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Samuel Clemens was born on November 30, 1835. As in the film, he was born and died during appearances of Halley's Comet. After the death of his father, Clemens was apprenticed to his brother, who ran the Missouri Courier. In 1857, Clemens became an apprentice boat pilot on the Mississippi and remained there until the Civil War. Clemens became a writer after traveling to Nevada in 1861 to work for his brother, a secretary to the territorial governor. He later spent a brief period as an unsuccessful prospector. While working for a San Francisco newspaper, he wrote The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, first published in a New York newspaper, which made him nationally famous. He spent some years traveling abroad, wrote Innocents Abroad based on his travels, and through the book met Olivia Langdon. They were married in 1870. The Clemenses lived in Hartford, CN until 1891. Clemens lost money backing an impractical typesetting machine and investing in a publishing house. He paid his debts by means of a worldwide lecture tour, during which his daughter Susie died. He received many honors and died on 21 April 1910.
Onscreen credits include the following statement: "All biographical material based on works owned or controlled by the Mark Twain Company and the play 'Mark Twain' by Harold M. Sherman." Production information on the play has not been found. The film was completed two years before its release. According to a April 21, 1944 article in Tidings, it was held back because Warner Bros. gave precedence to more topical, war-related films. Hollywood Reporter news items add the following information about the production: Olivia De Havilland was first announced in the role of "Livy." After De Havilland was suspended for turning down a role in Warner Bros.' The Princess O'Rourke," she was replaced in this picture by Alexis Smith. Some scenes were shot on location in Sacramento, CA. The film received several Academy Award nominations: John Hughes was nominated for Best Art Direction; Fred MacLean for Best Interior Decoration; Max Steiner for Best Score; Paul Detlefsen and John Crouse Best Photographic Special Effects; and Nathan Levinson for Best Sound Effects.