The strikingly handsome $2.5 million production, directed with discreet and appealing folksiness by Don Taylor, boasts an excellent cast, including Johnny Whitaker as Sawyer and Celeste Holm just sensational as Aunt Polly. Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman’s script, music and lyrics maintain an all-age interest.
Jeff East is most effective as Huck Finn, making of that character an intriguing and contrasting personality. Jodie Foster is great as Becky Thatcher.
Holm returns to the screen in personal triumph. Few actresses project so well warmth-with-backbone, and a ladylike gentility not immune to kicking up the heels occasionally.
Also superbly cast is Warren Oates as Muff Potter, the likeable boozy philosopher. Oates and Holm keep the film together for older audiences.
1973: Nominations: Best Costume Design, Art Direction, Adapted Score