Adventures Of Huck Finn, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

Huckleberry Finn (Elijah Wood) lives in the sleepy little Mississippi River town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. His mother died when he was very young and his drunkard father Pap (Ron Perlman) left him with the Widow Douglas. His best friend is Jim (Courtney Vance), one of the widow's slaves. Pap kidnaps Huck, and in a drunken rage tries to kill him to get the $600 left to Huck by his mother. Huck manages to escape and to team up with Jim, who plans to flee north to a free state. They reluctantly join two con-men, led by the Duke of Bilgewater (Jason Robards), who are scheming to steal an inheritance. Huck and Jim are forced to play along, always looking for a way out. THE ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN is drawn, loosely at best, from Mark Twain's classic story. Lacking in this version are Tom Sawyer and Twain's vivid descriptions of the period. It tends to be heavy-handed in its treatment of the slavery issue - more of a primer for children on the atrocities of our country's original sin than the adventure that Mr. Twain penned.

Detracting from HUCK FINN's acceptability are crude language, violence and questionable themes. Huck exclaims "hell's bells" several times throughout the film. Other characters utter many mild crudities. In one particularly violent scene, Pap chases Huck around a cabin, brandishing a large hunting knife, bent on killing him. Huck and a few men are shot with rifles, and Huck's friend Billy is shown face down in a creek after being shot. Perhaps most disturbing is the prevalent theme that you can lie and steal your way through life's crises. Huck, in his narration, discusses trying not to thieve or fib, but in every case he turns to trickery to get out of a jam. Unlike the book, he doesn't seem to learn from each experience. Huck also visits Jim while he is involved in a "seance," telling fortunes for the other slaves. Jim foretells Pap's arrival to try to get Huck. Huck smokes a pipe twice. HUCK FINN is certainly a PG film, not suitable for younger children. Its language, violence and themes make it suspect for older children as well.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
Buena Vista Distribution, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (21) times - Mild 19; Moderate 2

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (4) times - Exclamatory

Violence: Moderate - Several times (man attacks boy with large hunting knife; woman struck by man; several men shot with rifles; two boys shot; no blood or gore)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Pap shown in a drunken stupor; negative effects of drunkenness depicted; Huck smokes a pipe twice

Other: Huck frequently lies and steals

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