Mark Twain Movies & TV
The venerable filmmaker Ken Burns turns his documentary lens on Mark Twain. This is an acclaimed film and an excellent introduction to Twain's life. Actor Kevin Conway portrays Twain at parts during the film.
This 1967 film is as close as you'll come to seeing Mark Twain speak on film, seeing as how he died before the invention of talking pictures. Hal Holbrook has performed his one-man show of Twain since the 1940s. (At this point, Holbrook has spent nearly as much time pretending to be Mark Twain as Mark Twain spent actually being Mark Twain.) The script is almost entirely Twain's words, and apparently Holbrook does a good job of nailing Twain's voice and mannerisms.
This educational documentary of Twain's early life reminds us of the '70s-era school films mocked in "The Simpsons." Its style is a little old-fashioned, but the content is good. It uses archival images and film footage to give context on the America that Twain grew up in.
Okay, so this movie is not necessarily what you would call "good." But, OMG! It stars former teen heartthrobs Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Brad Renfro, back before they got old (and, in Renfro's sad case, dead). It's a Disneyfied version of Twain's two best-known stories.
The dashing Errol Flynn stars in this version of Twain's first entirely fictional work. Two identical boys are born at the same time, but one is a prince and the other is poor. When they switch identities, mayhem ensues.
This dark, freaky 1985 Claymation classic blends facts from Twain's life with the adventures of his fictional heroes like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn with some crazy New-Agey stuff. It's based on some of Mark Twain's stories, but is not really about him. We're not really sure what it's about. (If you watch this movie instead of reading the book, you will be sorry and your teacher is going to find out. We promise.)