Projects Mark Twain’s The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

[Short Film ]

A young wet-behind-the-ears reporter interrupts Mark Twain and his niece who are engaged in a quiet game of billiards. The young man is there to interview the famous author about his life and work. Before too long, the always wry Twain has the poor reporter confused, not knowing what is up, down, true or false. Twain then relates the story of Jim Smiley, “the bettin’est man who owned the jumpin’est frog in all of Calaveras County.” This is a story Twain swears is true—unless it isn’t.

(1981) | 24:30 minutes


Adapted by Ellen Geer
Designed by Bill Davis
Directed by Dan Bessie
Produced by Severo Perez
Mark Twain played by Wayne Heffley
Distributed by Barr Films 1980 – 1990


Cine Golden Eagle, 1981
Silver Award, Houston International Film Festival, 1981
Silver Medal, Virgin Island Film Festival, 1981

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