This much-laundered adaptation of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer was first presented as a 90-minute TV special on March 23, 1973. Josh Albee is Tom, Jeff Tyler is Huckleberry Finn, Jane Wyatt is Aunt Polly and Buddy Ebsen is Muff Potter--all acceptable but antiseptic shadows of the Twain original. Only Vic Morrow, oozing venom from every orifice as Injun Joe, conveys the raw energy of the novel. The film was shot in Ontario, with the St. Lawrence river subbing for the Mississippi. Tom Sawyer was carefully scheduled to premiere several months in advance of the expensive Disney theatrical film version starring Johnny Whittaker.
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