We're looking for contributors

HUCKLEBERRY FINN Review: Lewis Sargent William Desmond Taylor


Director: William Desmond Taylor

Cast: Lewis Sargent, George Reed, Katherine Griffith, Frank Lanning, Gordon Griffith, Esther Ralston, Edythe Chapman, Martha Mattox

Screenplay: Julia Crawford Ivers; from Mark Twain's novel

Recommended with Reservations

Huckleberry Finn, Lewis Sargent, William Desmond Taylor
Lewis Sargent in William Desmond Taylor's Huckleberry Finn

Directed by William Desmond Taylor, Huckleberry Finn stars a fresh, freckle-faced Lewis Sargent as Huck. (Sargent was also featured in another 1920 Taylor production, The Soul of Youth.) Set in the antebellum South, this sentimental retelling of Mark Twain's iconic story revolves around the adventures of Huckleberry Finn after he is kidnapped by his no-good, drunken father (Frank Lanning). When Huck manages to escape, he enjoys his newfound freedom so much that he continues to elude the search party. As a result, everyone thinks he is dead.

Soon, Huck is joined by Jim (George Reed), a slave on the run. Later on, they meet up with a pair of chicken thieves who scheme to cheat three young girls from their father's inheritance.

Taylor, best known today as the murder victim of one of the biggest scandals in Hollywood history, skillfully directs Huckleberry Finn, always moving the action forward, and getting sustained performances from the actors. Frank E. Garbutt's carefully lit cinematography helps to enhance the drama. 

Huckleberry Finn was reviewed at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Image: SFSFF.

© Danny Fortune

Note from the editor: William Desmond Taylor was found dead in his Los Angeles bungalow on Feb. 2, 1922. The murder case has never been solved. Rumored suspects included actresses Mabel Normand (presumed to be the last person to see Taylor alive) and Mary Miles Minter, and Minter's mother, Charlotte Shelby.

At the time, Taylor was reportedly in a relationship with costume designer (and later set decorator) George James Hopkins. Among Hopkins' credits are: costume designer for several Theda Bara vehicles, including Cleopatra (1917), Salome (1918), and Kathleen Mavourneen (1919), and set decorator for dozens of movies, ranging from Casablanca (1942) and Mildred Pierce (1945) to Hello, Dolly! (1969) and The Day of the Locust (1975).

If you found HUCKLEBERRY FINN Review: Lewis Sargent William Desmond Taylor an informative post, please recommend it to your friends. See share buttons above and on the left.
And consider following Alt Film Guide on Facebook and/or joining the FB group All About Movies.
HUCKLEBERRY FINN Review: Lewis Sargent William Desmond Taylor © 2004-2015 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s). Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Continue Reading: THE BLIZZARD Review: Einar Hanson, Mary Johnson Mauritz Stiller

Previous Post: Conrad Veidt Movies: From 'The Hands of Orlac' to 'Casablanca'

Click on 'Load Comments' to leave a comment about HUCKLEBERRY FINN Review: Lewis Sargent William Desmond Taylor.

Important: Different views and opinions are perfectly fine, but courtesy and respect are imperative. Abusive, bigoted, baseless (spreading misinformation), and/or trollish/inflammatory comments will be blocked and offenders may be banned.


Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino: 1920s 'Lost Film' BEYOND THE ROCKS Screening
SOULS FOR SALE on Turner Classic Movies
THE JAZZ SINGER: 80th Anniversary
Clarence Brown, Forgotten Film Director
SPARROWS - Mary Pickford
Gladys Brockwell: Tragic Death
THE ITALIAN Reginald Barker
Best Films - 1928
Lon Chaney 'The Phantom of the Opera' Halloween Screening
Actress Dorothy Janis Dies: One of the Last Silent Screen Performers
Best Films - 1923: Ramon Novarro, Alice Terry, John Gilbert, Eleanor Boardman, Lon Chaney
Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Cecil B. DeMille: The Birth of Hollywood on TCM
DESERT NIGHTS - John Gilbert, Mary Nolan William Nigh
Harold Lloyd Leading Lady Barbara Kent Dies
Plagiarism Consequences in Hollywood? THE WAY OF ALL FLESH
Michel Hazanavicius: Favorite Silent Movies
Divine, Alla Nazimova: London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Louise Brooks: San Francisco Silent Film Festival Kicks Off