The family film that gave us our vision of what a pirate is even today.
Released in 1950, “Treasure Island” was a hit with U.S. and U.K. Audiences, and created the image of how a pirate is supposed to sound and look that continues almost 70 years later. Robert Newtons portrayal of Long John Silver is so iconic that Newton reprised the role for another movie (Long John Silver) in 1954 and a television series (The Adventures of Long John Silver) starting in 1956. Although the pirate “arrr” can be found as early as the 30s, it is Newton’s sound and image of a pirate that has influenced all following portrayals, even today.
Disney re-released “Treasure Island” in 1975 but the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) gave it a PG rating. Disney had a policy of only releasing G rated films so 8 minutes were cut to receive that G rating. It wasn’t until 1990 when Disney put those 8 minutes back in and took a PG rating for the film.
We meet young Jim Hawkins (Driscoll) in his mother’s inn along the coast of 1765 England located several miles away from town. One of their boarders is the sickly, Captain William (Billy) Bones who is hiding from his old pirate crew. When William is found by old ship mate Black Dog, Billy gives Jim a treasure map to Captain Flints long lost treasure and tells Jim that it now belongs to him and his mother and sends Jim into town.
Jim runs into town for Squire Trelawney (Fitzgerald) and for Dr. Livesey (O’Dea) but return to late to save William. Jim tells William story, and shows the map to Squire Trelawney who immediately gets excited at the prospect of searching down the loot of Captain Flint and begins to talk Dr. Livesey into the adventure.
The following 60 minutes is an adventure set on the high sea and on a Caribbean island where Long John Silver, (Newton) leading a crew of former pirates, to mutiny and steal Flints lost treasure. Its a coming of age story as we watch young Jim Hawkins experience betrayal and adventure and learn about the world and his place in it.
“Treasure Island” is available on:
Amazon For Rent or Purchase
Google Play For Rent or Purchase
Vudu For Rent or Purchase
YouTube For Rent
Review of Treasure Island (1950) PG IMDB 7/10
Based on “Treasure Island”
Robert Louis Stevenson
Old Hollywood Films
Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins
Robert Newton as Long John Silver
Basil Sydney as Captain Smollett
Walter Fitzgerald as Squire Trelawney
Denis O’Dea as Dr. Livesey
Geoffrey Keen as Israel Hands
Geoffrey Wilkinson as Ben Gun
Director: Byron Haskin
Screenplay: Lawrence Edward Watkin