crimson corsair

Treasure Island

21 posts in this topic

I don't think I have every seen it from start to finish.

I want to buy it just whichone is best???

It seems to me the one I see on the tv from time to time is the Disney one from 1950. Is this the best one?

Beleave it on not I couldn't find it at Blockbuster or at Hollywood video.

I just rented "The Mupets Treasure Island" and it was great

Crimson

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Hands down, without a question, the undisputed Treasure Island champ is the TNT version from 1990 with Christian Bale and Charlton Heston. In fact it's pretty much the best pirate flick ever made! No joke!

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I don't know that I echo Red's claim taht the TNT Treasure Island is the best pirate movie ever, but I'm definitely on board that it's the best version of Treasure Island. Tough thing though, is that it's not really available for sale to my knowledge :ph34r:

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Gonna third the nomination for the TV version of Treasure Island. Great case, beautifully shot, wonderful music. I'm also thinking the greatest pirate movie ever.

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Ok I'll be first to nominate the Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper version. Maybe I'm odd but to me it's the best version by far. :huh:

I honestly cannot read treasure Island withoute envisioning Wallace Beery as Long John. I can't wait till this version is finally released on DVD! :P

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Hey, Muppet Treasure Island was really good, it has Tim Curry as Long John Silver! :P:huh:

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Ok I'll be first to nominate the Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper version.  Maybe I'm odd but to me it's the best version by far.  :P

I honestly cannot read treasure Island withoute envisioning Wallace Beery as Long John.  I can't wait till this version is finally released on DVD!  :huh:

I'll have to second that nomination, Wallace Beery was indeed an awesome Long John, and Jackie Cooper made a great Jim Hawkins as well. Can't say as I think its better than all the others, as I havn't seen the others, but anytime a Hollywood Long John Silver is mentioned, Wallace Beery is the face who immediately appears in my mind. Plus I love the old phrases that they used in that movie, like "Bless my Soul!"( a favorite of Jackie Cooper's), etc. Reminds me of a more inncocent, clean era, unfortunately long gone. :huh:

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Thanks guys...I hope I can find them on DVD...I hate haven ta think that I would have ta watch them on 8 track....VHS.

I will check out Suncoast first and go from there.

Thanks for all your help. :P

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Personally I quite like the version of Treasure Island with Jack Palance...

Pirates win!!! :P

Though on the subject of different versions of Treasure Island, then surely the cult classic with Anthony Quinn & Ernest Borgnine - Treasure Island in Outer Space, is sheer genius. Originally an Italian production, some of the sets are great.

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Plus I love the old phrases that they used in that movie, like "Bless my Soul!"( a favorite of Jackie Cooper's), etc. Reminds me of a more inncocent, clean era, unfortunately long gone.

Ye are speakin' of the old Hays Office heavily censored movies, I assume... Not th' fiercely polite and PC GAOP :lol:

Seriously--I gets a kick outa Robert Newton's over-th-top performance in the 1950 version. He was born in Dorsett, England, and his Long John Silver is almost pure Bristol--er as they say it "Bristle."

Dunno 'bout that Heston feller--couldn't shake his wooden grimace a la Moses Omega Man Ben Hur on the Planet of the Apes. :P

Still that beat the Jack Palance version. Since when did th' tropical Treasure Island get moved to what looks like th' southwest coast of England? The best part was Tyler from the BBC sitcom My Hero playin a pirate!

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Ok I have to admit I haven't seen any of those versions. Disney's version seems to stick with me . I like Robert Newton's Long John

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There's better 'Treasure Island's', but there'll ne'er be a better Long John Silver than Robert Newton!!........

:lol:

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i actually think that wallace berry(1934) did a better job of silver than did newton and jackie cooper played jim hawkins

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I agree wit ya mate, Wallace Beery is indeed the one and ONLY Long John is my eyes! B)B)

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I was watching the 1950 version of this movie looking for eye patches and... none to be found! So I'm guessing that puts the pirate-eyepatch link past the middle of the last century.

It was quite an enjoyable movie however. It's my first exposure to the actual story. (Yep. I avoided it this long. And I still haven't read the book.) I now see where an most of the modern lingo that masquerades as "pirate speak" came from. (You know, it should actually be called "Talk Like An Exaggerrated Version of Robert Newton Day." Ar-men.)

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For the eye patch thing, I think if you look at old cartoons from the 40s, you'll find pirates with patches (example, Popeye and Pirates, 1947: [http://www.youtube.c...?v=d3jXM7rUotY] ). Also, I believe that the Captain Kidd film from 1945 had them too (not a hundred percent on that). I also could have sworn there was a secondary character in one of the Captain Blood sequels during the 1950s that had an eye patch, if not one of those other campy-ish pirate films that came out in that decade. Also, there is the character "Patch" from the Adventures of Long John Silver television show (with Robert Newton as Long John Silver) in 1955 (plus a movie to go with it). So I would say mid 20th century is when the eye patch started getting associated with pirates.

I think the two came together eventually because of the stereotype with old disable sailors wearing eye patches (I would post a link, but the one I want to use won't work when I put it in here). When you bring to mind a pirate with one leg like Long John Silver...maybe the two got mixed together by association. I only wish I had kept this one image I scanned from 1820 that had a Greenwich pensioner with an eye patch, one wooden peg/leg, a hook for a hand, a crutch, and wearing a bicorn hat. I saw it and said "that looks like a modern pirate stereotype".

Anyway, the film. If you want exposure to the actual story of Treasure Island, the best thing beyond reading the book is the Turner 1990 version with Charleton Heston and Christian Bale (at age 15 at that point). That version is the closest to the book. The Disney 1950 version completely cannibalizes the beginning by reducing what is a few chapters (important ones) to under 5 minutes. They make Billy Bones nothing like he should be. Also, thanks to this cut down, we never see Jim's mother. Also, there are plenty of screw ups and things left out in other parts of the film too. The 1990 version covers much more, though isn't perfect either (the 1990 version adds some stuff, specifically some unnecessary stuff during fighting).

Here is a list of all the relevant versions of Treasure Island that are out there now (and aren't meant for kids like cartoons or Muppets) in chronological order with what some interesting points after each one:

1934 Version: Has Wallace Beery as Long John Silver and Jackie Cooper as Jim Hawkins.

-Lewis Stone as Captain Smollet is my personal favorite for that role, since his good character acting gives you the best feeling of someone who was a captain from the Royal Navy.

-Since clothing stereotypes weren't as locked into stone yet, there are some interesting clothing choices in here that gives you the feeling that someone looked back at illustrations from the 1740s and from the "Crier and Hawkers of London."

-The Weaponry used (except the way out of time period cannon on ship) look to be operational flintlock, maybe even old flintlocks originally from the 18th and early 19th century.

-Beery as Silver I think captures best that ability of the original character to capture the trust of Hawkins and that look that author Stevenson described as "He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a ham - plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling."

1950 Version: Has Robert Newton as Long John Silver and Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins.

-Newton as Silver is the best balance of looking trusting/friendly and angry/intimidating that is out there.

-Driscoll as Hawkins I think is the best job done by a child actor in any of these films, but he seemed a bit scrawny for the role of Hawkins (I think he was kind of small for his age, he was 13 when he filmed this).

-The pirate crew here is probably the most intimidating set in any of the films. They really do give off that "I've murdered people and I'm not intimidated by anyone" feeling. The guy who plays Israel Hands I think demonstrates this the best when he goes after Hawkins. He is also the best Israel Hands in any of these films. If this weren't a Disney film, I would have loved to see what they would have done with these pirates - for they felt held back because of Disney.

-The Squire Trelawney/Dr. Livsey pairing in this one has to be the most amusing of all the films I've seen.

1972 Russian Version "aka Ostrov Sokrovishch":

-This is definately a harsher world that any of the other ones portrayed.

-Ben Gun is awesome in this one, he's more of a tough survivor rather than a crazy person.

-Billy Bones doesn't die of alcoholism in this one, he goes down fighting, like a tough guy, which is awesome.

-It's just interesting to see a non-American or English version take on this story.

1972 Version with Orson Welles as Long John Silver:

-The only really appealing thing with this version is that Orson Welles is in it, but I feel like its the weakest portrayal of Long John Silver I've seen - as in he looks easily cowed at times.

1990 Version with Charleton Heston as Long John Silver and Christian Bale as Jim Hawkins:

-This is the best adaptation of the story to film (or to a TV movie technically, but this film is done so well its hard to tell that it was originally meant for television)

-Best fight scenes I've seen in these Treasure Island films (especially the realistic fight at the beginning between Billy Bones and Black Dog)

-Best actors for Blind Pew (Christopher Lee) and Billy Bones (Oliver Reed) I've seen of all these movies.

-The actors who did Squire Trelawney and Dr. Livsey are probably the most realistic among the films

-Heston as Silver is probably the most intimidating Silver of all the films.

-Hawkins in this film is probably the most reasonable age for this film to work, for any younger makes it seem physically impossible (Bale was 15 years old, but could have passed for a few years older I think).

-The pirates of the film are pretty good and blood thirsty, but seem a tad too easy to cow by Silver (then again, it is Charleton Heston).

-Probably the most realistic version of Ben Gun in all the films.

1999 (or 2001, conflicting dates on IMDb and Wiki) with Jack Palance as Long John Silver:

-Not much to say on this film other than its the first major live-action and serious version to drastically deviate from the book. It completely changes the ending, with everyone except Hawkins, Ben Gun, and Silver dead, and they all go away with the treasure happily ever after. Its the first version to kind of say that "piracy isn't all that bad."

-Also, its one of the first versions to use a notably older Jim Hawkins (older that 15 years old anyway).

2012 Version with Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver:

-Made for TV, the Izzard approach to Silver as more of a plotter who is frustrated by inept followers is kind of refreshing.

-There are plenty of deviations of from the original story material, including ones that give more screen time to a couple of female roles.

-The clothing and characters definately gives this version a more "international pirates" feeling, for there seem to be a lot of influences from all different cultures here, especially seen in costume. By the way, the costumes are outright...strange is the best way to describe them.

-The moral of the story and how they deviated from the characters/plot of the original create some interesting reimagining of some characters and different conclusions than previous. The most astounding changes are to Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livsey, and Ben Gun (played by Elijah Wood).

And, there may be another version in development for 2014 with Director Guy Ritchie at the well (the direct of the recent Sherlock Holmes films):

http://screenrant.co...d-contr-176380/

Edited by Brit.Privateer

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Excellent recap, thanks! I have been actually avoiding the story because it is the source of so many misconceptions and I wanted my view of piracy to be first rooted in fact before I looked at the story that (rather unintentionally IMO) muddied things so badly. However, I read on a website that this film was the genesis of the eye patch myth and I wanted to see if that was true.

Thanks also for the info on the theatrical connection to the eye patch. I don't want to drag this OT, but I have found at least four images from around the 1780s that show eye patches and missing limbs (and peg legs) being standard features on Greenwich pensioners. This connection continued weakly in the early 19th century and then seems to have faded.

I was pleased to note that a doctor was highly featured in Treasure Island. I may have to check out the 1990 version now that I have gone ahead and watched one of them.

If Guy Ritchies' awful interpretation of Holmes' and, worse, Watson's character are any indication, I'll probably avoid any film from him 'reinterpreting' old stories. He should have the wherewithal to make up his own characters if he wants to reinterpret history - even fictional history.

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Excellent recap, thanks! I have been actually avoiding the story because it is the source of so many misconceptions and I wanted my view of piracy to be first rooted in fact before I looked at the story that (rather unintentionally IMO) muddied things so badly. However, I read on a website that this film was the genesis of the eye patch myth and I wanted to see if that was true.

Thanks also for the info on the theatrical connection to the eye patch. I don't want to drag this OT, but I have found at least four images from around the 1780s that show eye patches and missing limbs (and peg legs) being standard features on Greenwich pensioners. This connection continued weakly in the early 19th century and then seems to have faded.

I was pleased to note that a doctor was highly featured in Treasure Island. I may have to check out the 1990 version now that I have gone ahead and watched one of them.

If Guy Ritchies' awful interpretation of Holmes' and, worse, Watson's character are any indication, I'll probably avoid any film from him 'reinterpreting' old stories. He should have the wherewithal to make up his own characters if he wants to reinterpret history - even fictional history.

That's interesting a website said that about the eye patch thing. I suspect the site was confusing "Treasure Island" (1950) with "Return to Treasure Island"(1954)/"Adventures of Long John Silver"(1955) since they both have Robert Newton in the same role (exact same everything for that matter for Newton, accent, clothing, etc). Also, what was the theatrical reference I made (theatrical means stage productions like Pirates of Penzance right)?

It's interesting that you don't want to read the story yet. That book was my favorite book as a kid, and I read it several times. I don't feel like it has impaired my perspective of pirates to the point of not allowing me to see facts for what they are. I would encourage anyone to read it. Read it, if not for the good story, for a better understanding of public perceptions of piracy.

For Guy Ritchie, if you don't like the movie when comparing them to the original source material, fine, completely understandable. But, when considered outside of the source material, I still think the Sherlock Holmes movies are entertaining. For re-imagining the Treasure Island story for Guy, I don't mind since he wouldn't be the first. The 2001 and 2012 versions did that already. Some predict that Guy Ritchie will take the film in a darker and grittier direction. Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing that interpretation, just to see how doing that changes the characters. I think that many of the pirate characters have the potential for being good in such a interpretation. Imagine if you took the pirates from the very intimidating 1950 version that I mentioned before and put them in a grittier environment not held back by Disney - I think you would see some astounding stuff.

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There is a lot of evidence in psychology that your starting point colors your future understanding. (It's called 'anchoring'.) (Of course, having said that, my starting point was the Disney MPC Pirates of the Caribbean skeleton models, so where does that leave me?) It actually took me a long time to overcome a lot of the things I had learned about golden age era pirates when I was younger and get to the truth of them. After I got over the skeleton pirates, I was most fascinated by Captain Misson and his philosophical priest. I was shocked to learn that he was most likely fictional. So then I had to get to the core of that through research and slowly alter my biased understanding. (And there is still much to relearn. This is part of the reason why I try to stick to one small area of research about which I had no previous knowledge.)

As for Holmes, after reading the books several times and watching Britt in the role, I was appalled by Ritchie's treatment. It's worked quite well for him, but when you talk to the younger generation, they think that's Sherlock Holmes. I was explaining the AC Doyle character to a twenty year old who showed interest, so I loaned them one of my Britt DVDs. They who found that version of the character dull compared to the the Ritchie movies and didn't like him. But that is the character, Ritchie just put a spin on him and stuck him in unlikely action sequences. (And butchered Watson.) Which brings us full circle to the concept of anchoring.

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There is a lot of evidence in psychology that your starting point colors your future understanding. (It's called 'anchoring'.) (Of course, having said that, my starting point was the Disney MPC Pirates of the Caribbean skeleton models, so where does that leave me?) It actually took me a long time to overcome a lot of the things I had learned about golden age era pirates when I was younger and get to the truth of them. After I got over the skeleton pirates, I was most fascinated by Captain Misson and his philosophical priest. I was shocked to learn that he was most likely fictional. So then I had to get to the core of that through research and slowly alter my biased understanding. (And there is still much to relearn. This is part of the reason why I try to stick to one small area of research about which I had no previous knowledge.)

Intriguing...the one thing that catches me is that I don't think everyone absolutely clings to their anchors exactly like the next person does. I suspect that some people cling to them more than others. Meanwhile, I feel like some people can train themselves to not cling to "anchors" as much. Take me for instance, I loved pirates when I was a kid. I did so until about age nine, and then started pursuing Civil War stuff. At about age 13 I slowly became interested in the Age of Sail and maritime stuff (specifically, I started reading naval fiction from Forester and O'Brian), and my real interest in pirates returned at about age 17. But, when I returned to pirates, I approached it from as academically as possible. I didn't feel hindered by "anchors". I was quick to see that the pirates of my childhood and in fiction books and movies were of another universe altogether and not the real ones. I didn't feel like it was difficult to get over, in fact I was enthralled with the new perspectives on pirates that I discovered since these pirates appeared to be real for a change (unlike those in the previously mentioned fictional universe). Now, does that mean I didn't have anchors in the first place, or am I just an anomaly, or is there some context here I have not considered yet?

Now, to tie this back to the thread topic of Treasure Island, what "anchors" might the book and movies establish in someone?

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Now, to tie this back to the thread topic of Treasure Island, what "anchors" might the book and movies establish in someone?

I find a lot of the popular pirate memes originated in Treasure Island - the books, the illustrations and the movies.

From the book (as I understand it, for I haven't read it) we have things like buried treasure, treasure maps, the block spot, some of the sing-songy pirate dialect, parrots on shoulders and one-legged pirates. These appear to have been strongly emphasized there. (Although these elements may be present in contemporary sources, they are not put together in the way TI does. You can find parrots referred to as something sailors captured to resell in England where they were rare, but you find no pirates walking around with parrots on their shoulders in contemporary sources. The one-legged pirate appears sparingly in contemporary pirate documentation (I can think of three minor individuals losing a leg, in fact. Curiously, no where is there a record of a pirate with a peg-leg that I've yet found.) but not on a major character like a captain and not as an important facet of the character. Rather they occur almost as footnotes of interest to the narrative.)

From the illustrations we have reiteration of the above items as well as bucket boots and earrings. (Earrings may be in the books, but I don't know.)

Of course the movies incorporate them again and may have added peg-legs and eye-patches. (Hooks I am convinced are a Peter Pan-based phenomenon.) Peg-legs and eye-patches are also found in many early pirate movies other than TI, but I think the other movies built upon the idea of the one-legged pirate and the blind pirate as well as borrowing from the wounded sailor persona that seems to have been around since the 1780s or so. The movies (specifically the 1950 version) also appear to have associated the word "Arr" with the pirate persona and sharpened the sing-songy pirate dialect as well.

Reiteration in various media is an important part of this. The more often you are exposed to a particular meme, the more firmly the anchor is set. From my training experience the more different ways you can present a concept (visually, aurally, repetition and through various different mediums) the better entrenched that concept becomes for your training audience. So it stands to reason that the same would be true in this case.

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