Treasure Island

Overview

This fifth film version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island boasts an all-star MGM cast, headed by Wallace Beery as Long John Silver and Jackie Cooper as Jim Hawkins. The screenplay, by John Lee Mahin, John Howard Lawson and Leonard Praskins, remains faithful to the Stevenson original...up to a point. The story begins when drunken old sea dog Billy Bones Lionel Barrymore drags himself into the seaside pub managed by Jim and his mother Dorothy Peterson. After Billy is killed by the scurrilous Blind Pew ...
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Overview

This fifth film version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island boasts an all-star MGM cast, headed by Wallace Beery as Long John Silver and Jackie Cooper as Jim Hawkins. The screenplay, by John Lee Mahin, John Howard Lawson and Leonard Praskins, remains faithful to the Stevenson original...up to a point. The story begins when drunken old sea dog Billy Bones Lionel Barrymore drags himself into the seaside pub managed by Jim and his mother Dorothy Peterson. After Billy is killed by the scurrilous Blind Pew William V. Mong and his henchmen, Jim discovers that the deceased ex-pirate carries a treasure map on his person. Together with Dr. Livesey Otto Kruger and Squire Trelawny Nigel Bruce, Jim books passage on a ship captained by Alexander Smollett Lewis Stone; their destination is the "treasure island" depicted on the map. Smollett doesn't like the voyage nor the crew, and not without reason: ship's cook Long John Silver has rounded up the crew from the dregs of the earth, fully intending to mutiny and claim the treasure for himself. A further plot complications awaits both treasure-seekers and pirates in the person of half-mad island hermit Ben Gunn Chic Sale who's already found the treasure and has stashed it away for himself. Towards the end, the plot strays from the Stevenson version in detailing the ultimate fate of ruthless-but-lovable Long John Silver. While consummately produced, Treasure Island suffers from overlength and a mannered performance by Jackie Cooper. Disney's 1950 remake with Robert Newton and Bobby Driscoll is far more satisfying.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Shiver me timbers if it isn't Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island for the fifth time and with a cast that only grand old M-G-M could provide. It is also perhaps the most brutal version of all, what with poor Blind Pew (William V. Mong mercilessly run over by Dr. Livesey's (Otto Kruger) coach, and in medium close-up to boot. Director Victor Fleming pulls no punches and the bodies soon litter both the top deck of the Hispanola and that blasted island itself. Stevenson's lusty tale is of course created with the likes of Jackie Cooper, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, et al. in mind and in comparison to the featured stars such a seasoned ham as Nigel Bruce, as the squire, remains the very picture of modesty and restraint. So what if the screenwriters tinkered a bit with the text in order to play up Wallace Beery's lovable idiosyncrasies? And what does it matter if little Jackie Cooper is more suggestive of the hills of Beverly than the windswept coast of Wales? Treasure Island, by way of Culver City and Catalina, is still rousing good entertainment for children of all ages.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2014
  • UPC: 888574012304
  • Original Release: 1934
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 1,494

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Wallace Beery Long John Silver
Jackie Cooper Jim Hawkins
Lionel Barrymore Billy Bones
Otto Kruger Dr. Livesev
Lewis Stone Capt. Alexander Smollett
Nigel Bruce Squire Trelawney
Charles "Chic" Sale Ben Gunn
William V. Mong Pew
Charles McNaughton Black Dog
Dorothy Peterson Mrs. Hawkins
Robert A'Dair Tom
Robert Anderson
John Anderson Harry Sykes
Wilson Benge Friend at Inn
Charles Bennett Dandy Dawson
Robert Bolder Mild Man at Inn
Ed Brady
Edmund Breese Anderson
James Burke George Merry
W.B. Clarke Allan
Cora Sue Collins Child at Inn
Harry Cording Henry
Sidney D'Albrook Joyce
Jill Dennett Streetwalker
Kay Deslys
Vernon P. Downing Boy at Inn
Douglas Dumbrille [Ugly Israel] Hands
Frank G. Dunn Hunter
Harold Entwistle Ship's Chandler
Frank S. Hagney
Olin Howland Dick
Charles Irwin Abraham Gray
James Mason
Cornelius Keefe
John Kerr
J.M. Kerrigan Tom Morgan
Edith Kingdon Wife at Inn
Tom Mahoney Redruth
King Mojave Pirate
Edward Pawley O'Brien
Richard Powell William Post
Yorke Sherwood Mr. Arrow
Bob Stevenson
Jane Tallent
Tom Wilson
Harold Wilson Oldster
Technical Credits
Victor Fleming Director
Clyde de Vinna Cinematographer
Dwight Franklin Consultant/advisor, Costumes/Costume Designer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Ray June Cinematographer
John Howard Lawson Screenwriter
John Lee Mahin Screenwriter
Leonard Praskins Screenwriter
Merrill Pye Art Director
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
Blanche Sewell Editor
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Hunt Stromberg Producer
Edwin B. Willis Art Director
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2003

    True to the Original

    As a child, the movie was entertaining to me, since I had a deep fascination for pirates, and pirate lore. I grew older, and have read the book several times now, and thoroghly enjoy both the book and the original movie (the 1934 version). while some scenes are added to the movie that did not happen in the book, it does not change the storyline too much. The dialogue in this particular version is great. One can follow the movie, and hear almost every sentence spoken by the characters that Stevenson wrote. This movie is a classic, and hands down, the best Treasure Island. The sets are amazing, and the screenplay is as well. Something to keep in mind is that this movie was filmed in 1934--and the attention to detail on the sets is incredible. not too mention an all star cast and great performances. Cooper in his 2nd movie ever (he also played in the Little Rascals/ Our Gang shorts) acts very well for his age, and makes a great Jim Hawkins. Overall, it is one of my favorite movies of all time. (the others being Back to the Future, and The Blues Brothers). I hope it comes out on DVD sometime soon--i have watched the VHS version so many times, that the tape will wear out any time now.

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