Starring: Fredric March, Alexis Smith, Dickie Jones
Directed by: Irving Rapper
Synopsis: A screen dramatization of the life of writer and humorist Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain (Fredric March), from his birth until his death.
Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): Early in the film we see Samuel as a teenager (Dickie Jones) working at a newspaper office. But his heart isn’t in his job and when the boss isn’t looking he plays with a string he has rigged which goes outside the window. The camera follows the string and we see that it leads to a tiny kitten which is playing with a little tuft at the end of the string.
Sam pulls on the string and the kitten, which has the tuft in its mouth, is pulled up until it is dangling and bouncing from the string.
Kitty Cameos: Later in the film, Samuel Clemens (now Mark Twain) begins to write The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, shown in a series of quick scenes. In one scene, Mark is outside sitting on a bench around a tree while working. A black cat is sitting in the background and a tabby kitten is about to jump down from the bench.
After he finishes the book, his wife Olivia (Alexis Smith ) reads it. A group of kittens are seen sitting in a chair as the scene begins.
Mark is standing nearby holding a cat as he waits for her opinion. He sits down beside her with the cat as she says it’s wonderful.
Purr Blur: Later in the film Mark has invested in a typesetting machine and a montage shows how he has to continue writing books to pay for the investment. In one shot, Mark is sitting in the foreground and a tabby cat is seen sitting on a chair in the background then turns and jumps down.
Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): In a late scene in the film, Mark is frustrated and looking for his pipe cleaner. The maid comes in and Mark berates here, tossing things around on his desk as he complains. An adorable little Tonkinese kitten is standing on the desk, remaining unbelievably calm as Mark tosses papers and things around.
Olivia enters and calms Mark down as he picks up the little cat and holds it. When his daughters enter the study, Mark gently sets the kitten down and pets it before going to them.
Final Mewsings: Even humorists are amused by kittens playing with string.