Arrow Rock, Missouri, will host a three-day 50th anniversary celebration of an American musical classic of literature and film, Tom Sawyer July 2-4.

In the summer of 1972, Arrow Rock was cast as the 1840s Hannibal “replacement” for Mark Twain’s musical production. Tom Sawyer. The village and its historic buildings were used as scenery, and dozens of local and regional residents appeared as Hannibal’s denizens.

Two of the film’s star actors will return to Arrow Rock to celebrate. John Whitaker (“Tom Sawyer”) and Joshua Hill Lewis (“Cousin Sidney”) will join several panel discussions and appearances. Writer and documentarian Jeffrey Sherman will screen his film about his father and uncle, and wrote the screenplay with music by Tom Sawyer.

The 50th anniversary of the filming of this classic musical includes events, special visitors, film screenings and a citywide commemoration Tom Sawyer and one of its biggest stars, the village of Arrow Rock. Admission to all events and activities is free.

A traveling exhibition on the making of Tom Sawyer and How He Was Brought to Arrow Rock opens the week of June 27 at the Small Gallery at Arrow Rock State Historic Site, located at 39521 Visitor Center Drive in Arrow Rock. The expo is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend.

Several events are also scheduled for July 2-4 at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theater and the Arrow Rock State Historic Site. The calendar of events includes:


10:00 am – First Saturdays: “Adaptation of Twain” – A round table

11am-2:30pm – MRBO KnowLedge Nest

11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Host Paul Fotsch

12 p.m.-2 p.m. – Games on the lawn of the tavern

2 p.m. – Guided tour of filming locations

5 p.m. – Screening and questions and answers “The boys: the story of the Sherman brothers”


11am-2:30pm – MRBO KnOWLedge Nest Open

11 a.m. – Guided tour of filming locations

11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Host Paul Fotsch

12 p.m.-2 p.m. – Games on the lawn of the tavern

2 p.m. – Tom Sawyer: An Arrow Rock Family Reunion

7 p.m. – Made in Missouri: the production of Tom Sawyer


11 a.m. – Guided tour of filming locations

12 p.m.-2 p.m. – Games on the lawn of the tavern

1pm-3pm – Violinist Raoul Brcu, Live musical performance in the Village

3 p.m. – Impromptu Parade

6 p.m. – Sharing picnic

9:00 p.m. – Exterior screening of Tom Sawyer

Event activities and participants are subject to change. For more information on the celebration and events, visit

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