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Category:    Home > Reviews > Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn (1960, Limited CD)

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

(Limited Edition CD Soundtrack)


Sound: B-     Music: B-



Some literary classics are so key that any attempt to adapt them to the big screen seems a lost cause.  Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is one such character and because it is one of the only classics that deals with children.  The twist is that many of the adaptations try to negate the important points of the original book.  Turning it into a kid’s franchise has also been constantly attempted.


One such attempt was the 1960 feature version from director Michael Curtiz, towards the end of his career.  Made by the original M-G-M, the studio had high hopes for the film, but the results were mixed.  This includes the music score, which is featured on this new limited edition CD soundtrack, offering the Jerome Moross score for the first time ever.  The studio had attempted an all-musical version in the early 1950s with Gene Kelly and songs written by Burton Lane & Alan Jay Learner (as explained in the terrific booklet typical of all these FSM label CD releases from Film Score Monthly magazine) and a few of the songs made it to this non-musical version.


Those 1950s songs make me curious about the lost project, but they do mesh well here.  Unfortunately, there is repetition throughout that may feel authentic, but just does not click.  This has no bearing on the film’s quality, which we will look at when the DVD is issued, and music that seems repetitious on its own can sometimes integrate very well into a narrative film.  This means that unless you are a fan of this style of period music or are a fan of the film, you should see the film before considering this particular title.


The PCM CD 2.0 Stereo sound is not bad, but shows its age with some dated fidelity, a slight lack of fullness and some slight warping and harmonic distortion throughout.  This is better than the fate of many stereophonically recorded scores from the studio that were dumped, with only monophonic back-up tapes left in the archive, so it has survived better than it sounds like it did.  Only 3,000 copies of this soundtrack have been pressed, which is usually the case from all the FSM CDs sold exclusively at www.filmscoremonthly.com and you can get more information on this and other titles there by visiting their site.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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