Mark Twain

Mark Twain Edison Footage

In 1909, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) would turn 73 years old and spend a lot of his time at his homestead in Redding, Connecticut. This was decades after giving birth to American literature, making friends with Tesla and fighting ghosts or whatever supernatural beast writers will faddishly shove into his autobiography. It was also a troublesome  year. It was the year his youngest daughter Jean as well as his close friend Henry Rogers died, and it’s the same year that he predicted his own demise to coincide with Halley’s Comet (just as he’d come into the world). He was right. The next year, he died. Right on schedule with the comet. But 1909 also saw good friend Thomas Edison visit Twain and his family in Redding to capture some moving images. A bit of the footage ended up in the short film The Prince and the Pauper, but it holds the unique distinction of being the only known footage of Twain out there. Check it out for yourself:

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Over time, Mark Twain’s characters Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have proven to be two of the most enduring in the entire history of American literature. And by enduring, I mean that they keep getting dug back up for new adaptations and interpretations. Though it was largely agreed by all that Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Brad Renfro had finally given us the quintessential versions of the rapscallions with Disney’s 1995 film, Tom and Huck, Paramount has decided that it isn’t too late for them to get into the game themselves. To that end they’ve picked up a spec script written by Andrew Burg that goes by the name of…Huck and Tom. There isn’t much creativity going on out there with these Mark Twain adaptations is there? Snarkiness aside, Paramount’s new vision of the trouble-making duo does sound like it’s going to be taking the traditional Huck and Tom story in a new direction. Said to be a darker imagining of the material similar in tone to Snow White and the Huntsman, Huck and Tom will follow the titular characters not in their youth, as is usually the case, but instead it will give us a glimpse into their adult lives. And it’s also said to be throwing some supernatural stuff our way. Given recent trends, that probably means we’ve got a 50/50 chance that they’re either going to be fighting vampires or zombies. If Paramount throws in a female character for a love triangle then they’ll really have something that […]

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As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. There has been a lot of commotion and debate surrounding the new edition of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” because it waters down the language (at least a certain part of it). It has shocked people that a classic could be so obliterated for the sake of political correctness, but the book was weakened years ago considerably – by movies. It’s time for a fresh cinematic take on Mark Twain‘s – a take that is gritty and hilarious and strongly-worded as the book truly is.

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