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One of first movies in Technicolor shown in Special Collections series

Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Special Collections Motion Picture Archive Film Series at Brigham Young University will salute color in the movies with a presentation of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and early arrival is encouraged to ensure a seat. Children age 8 and older are welcome. No food or drink is permitted in the auditorium.

“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” based on the classic novel by Mark Twain and released in 1938, was one of the first dozen Hollywood movies made in the newly perfected Technicolor process.

Producer David O. Selznick created Pioneer Pictures with the sole intent of promoting the use of color in movies. Originally, filmmakers used color only for brief sequences within feature films. However, Selznick’s classic film “Gone with the Wind,” released in 1939, erased any doubts that Technicolor could carry an entire feature.

Unknown and untrained actor Tommy Kelley stars in the title role, with a supporting cast of movie veterans such as May Robson, Walter Brennan and Victor Jory. Kelley later appeared in “Gone with the Wind” with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.

James V. D’Arc, curator of the Motion Picture Archive, will introduce the film and discuss the emergence of Technicolor in motion pictures in the late 1930s.

For a complete season schedule of the film series, visit

Writer: Brian Rust


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