The (Radio) Adventures of Mark Twain: Arch Oboler’s adaptations of Warners’ Picture | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1753-6421
  • E-ISSN: 1753-643X



This article provides a critical cultural history of the radio-film adaptation series The Adventures of Mark Twain, which was written by Arch Oboler and commissioned by Warner Bros. to promote their picture, The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944). This series offers invaluable insights about Hollywood’s advertising of film on radio, its exploitation of films, and radio-film adaptations. Because Oboler’s Twain dramas directly and indirectly advertise the film, they serve as early examples of branded entertainment. Similarly, as Oboler tapped Twain material not addressed by the film, the series also serves as an antecedent of contemporary intermedial and transmedial adaptation. Recovering the interaction between Warner Bros. as sponsor and Oboler as writer, this article also addresses the complex question of adaptation authorship, and the general tensions between cultural expression and the cultural industries in American mass media.


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