In Don Taylor's 1973 version of Mark Twain's beloved story of Tom Sawyer
is an adorable ten-year-old Jodie Foster as little Becky Thatcher. This is the third film in the career of a gifted actress who was destined for stardom from the very start. Foster (honored at Telluride in 1991) first captured the public's attention as that little Coppertone girl in the suntan lotion commercials -the girl whose swimsuit was being pulled down by a dog. She went on to win minor roles in television series like The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan
(1972) until her major film debut the same year in Disney's Napoleon and Samantha
(1972). Following that, Foster played several diverse juvenile roles, from Becky Thatcher in Tom Sawyer
(1973) to her precocious tomboy in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
(1984). By the time she played Iris in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver
, she had become the most accomplished actress of her generation at the age of fourteen.
is an excellent showcase for the young Foster as well as a interesting interpretation of the Twain novel. It was shot on location in Missouri, features beautifully rendered sets and costumes from the period, and an Oscar® nominated music song by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, and John Williams. What, you didn't know Tom Sawyer
was a musical? Some of the songs include "A Man's Gotta Be What He's Born to Be," "How Come?" and "River Song" which is sung by Charlie Pride.
Director: Don Taylor
Producer: Walter Bien
Screenplay: Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman
Cinematography: Frank Stanley
Music: Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman
Editing: Marion Rothman
Production Design: Philip M. Jeffries
Cast: Johnny Whitaker (Tom Sawyer), Celeste Holm (Aunt Polly), Warren Oates (Muff Potter), Jodie Foster (Becky Thatcher), Jeff East (Huckleberry Finn), Henry Jones (Mr. Dobbins).
by Rod Hollimon
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