Treasure Island (1934) torrent download

Treasure Island

1934

Adventure / Family

7.1

Synopsis

Former pirate Billy Bones boards at the seaside inn operated by Jim Hawkins and his mother and confides his dread of discovery by his old cohorts to the young boy. After Bones' death, Jim shares his treasure map with the reputable gentry, Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney, who organize an expedition to recover the buried loot. Long John Silver, a charming but ruthless rogue, is able to infiltrate the ship with his pirate co-conspirators and mercilessly murders loyal crew members. In the subsequent struggle with the mutineers over the buried gold, half-witted marooned pirate Ben Gunn may hold the key to victory.

Director

Victor Fleming

Cast

Wallace Beery
as Long John Silver
Jackie Cooper
as Jim Hawkins
Lionel Barrymore
as Billy Bones
Otto Kruger
as Doctor Livesey
Lewis Stone
as Captain Smollett
Nigel Bruce
as Squire Trelawney

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ron Oliver 10 /10

Wallace Beery Waves The Jolly Roger

The most famous pirate in English literature sets sail across the High Seas of Adventure - bound for TREASURE ISLAND.

Robert Louis Stevenson's wonderful 1883 tale of devious deeds, derring-do & hidden doubloons is given a first rate production by MGM in this swaggering, boisterous film. Although many of the lead actors are American and make no pretense of hiding their Yankee accents, this in no way hinders the enjoyment or appreciation of the film's many qualities. The story has been necessarily streamlined a bit, but the excisions are judicious and the robust flavour of the original novel remains.

Bulbous & bulgy, with a gimlet eye & a baby's grin, Wallace Beery makes a unique Long John Silver. As willful as an infant and as ruthless as a Mafia don, he completely manages to steal every scene he's in. Acting as innocent as any cherub, he gleefully commits murderous mayhem at every turn, while hobbling about on his crutch in feverish pursuit of Flint's buried treasure. Beery had the rare - and enviable - ability to take a wretched sinner like Silver and transform him into a lovable old rogue. He makes this role his own and is unforgettable in it.

OUR GANG star Jackie Cooper makes a sturdy Jim Hawkins. His screen chemistry with Beery, so important to the plot, is still as good as it was previously in THE CHAMP (1931). Cooper was a talented child actor and could easily go from excited high jinks to blubbery tears with ease. Here, he gets to personify every lad's dreams of fabulous exploits & personal glory.

A trio of accomplished performers portray young Cooper's three friends: Otto Kruger as noble Doctor Livesey; Nigel Bruce as blustery, big-hearted Squire Trelawney; and Lewis Stone as sternly courageous Captain Smollett. All three acquit themselves very well.

Consummate character actor Lionel Barrymore adds another portrait to his gallery - that of the bullying, rumsoaked Billy Bones, whose possession of the treasure map is the instigation of the film's problems. Although the role is really quite brief, Barrymore makes the most of it, slashing wildly about with his cutlass and singing ‘Fifteen Men On A Dead Man's Chest' with passionate fury. It is a shame the plot gave him no scenes with Beery - they would have been memorable together.

Stevenson's story creates a few small, choice cameo roles which are here delightfully delineated - Charles McNaughton as the scurvy Black Dog; William V. Mong as the fearsome Blind Pew; and a terrific Charles ‘Chic' Sale as canny old Ben Gunn, all jerks and fidgets and ridden with fleas. Dorothy Peterson, a fine actress, plays Mrs. Hawkins.

The seafaring scenes on board the Hispaniola, filmed along the coast of California, are particularly well produced.

Reviewed by theowinthrop 10 /10

The Best Version of the Best Known Stevenson Story

When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote TREASURE ISLAND in 1883, he probably thought that it was a good work, but hardly better than his TRAVELS WITH A DONKEY or SILVERADO SQUATTERS or his other coming fiction. It was a good early novel, and that was that. He would grow as a writer, but THE MASTER OF BALLENTRAE, DR. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDE, and WEIR OF HERMISTON were in the future, as was KIDNAPPED. So were the forgotten titles: PRINCE OTTO and THE WRECKERS and THE DYNAMITERS. But his best themes are in TREASURE ISLAND. Besides the expert handling of an adventure tale and a historical novel, there is also the issue of ambiguity in personality. Long John Silver is the first of a line of heroes/anti-heroes including Dr. Henry Jeckyll, Alec Breck Stewart, and James and Henry Durrie who while decent in some ways are weak or worse in other ways.

Long John is capable of organizing a mutiny, ordering the murder of a troublesome crew member who won't join his plans, or planning to steal a treasure that does not belong to him. But he is human - he sees young Jim Hawkins as a decent kid, and ends up becoming a surrogate father to him in the novel (even protecting the boy from his less pleasant associates). But Long John cannot avoid (even at his best) being at his worse. To protect Jim, John has to keep him from the other non-mutineers (the Squire, Captain Smollett, Dr. Livesey), so he lies to Jim that they have denounced Jim as a mutineer and won't have anything to do with him. Subsequently, of course, Jim does learn this is a lie - from Dr. Livesey.

Jim likewise finds ambiguity in his reactions. He can't help liking (even loving) the sea cook. But he realizes Silver is a bad man. Yet, in the end, he is glad that John escapes (even with some part of the treasure).

In his autobiography, Jackie Cooper admits that when he is approached to this day by fans they start asking him about Wallace Beery, and Cooper has to admit that he never was close to Beery socially. They worked well together (Cooper played Beery's son in THE CHAMP, the 1931 film that gave Beery his Oscar). But Beery's personality (in real life) was always "troublesome". Reputedly he left the budding film industry in Chicago in the teens of the 20th Century when he was in danger of a rape charge. In later years his failed marriage to Gloria Swanson was due to his jealousy of her success and his slower success. When he worked with Cooper, he was at his Hollywood zenith as a star and talent, but he was fully aware of it. At one point, Cooper mentions an incident where Beery, he, and some others were eating lunch, and some autograph seekers approached them. While several (including Cooper) did not hesitate to give autographs, Beery refused. Afterwards, when asked about this, Beery said that he was a big star and he did not have to be pestered by this kind of thing.

Yet, to the credit of both stars, their performances in TREASURE ISLAND are flawless. They get along very nicely in their roles - Jim Hawkins occasionally saying something kindly that raises the suspicious John Silver's spirits a bit. Beery and Cooper also perform well with the rest of the cast - check the scenes where Beery keeps his less and less friendly mutineer associates in line. He brings some dark humor to the situations (as when a treasure that they dig for is not in the spot they've waisted time at). Cooper's best moment without Beery, of course, is the sequence with Douglas Dumbrille as Israel Hands*, where they have a fight to the death (literally) in the rigging of the ship Hands was supposed to be guarding. Dumbrille, by the way, should be congratulated for his acting here - he manages not to show off that stentorian voice of his, but uses a more weaselly sounding voice quite effectively.

Note also Lionel Barrymore's noisy and frightening, but ultimately frightened Captain Billy Bones, forcing the civilians in the Admiral Benbow Inn to sing "Fifteen Men on a Deadman's Chest", but quivering when told the one legged sea cook has been seen nearby. Also note William Mong's "Blind Pew", a scary enough figure for awhile, but at the end rather pathetic given his bizarre fate. Chic Sale's Ben Gunn is properly silly from years of isolation. Otto Kruger's Dr. Livesay is properly heroic seeking to make sure that Jim is not harmed by the mutineers. The cast, in short, is first rate, and matched by Victor Fleming's well handled directing. So the film merits a "10".

*Historically, there was a pirate named Israel Hands, though he was dead by the time of TREASURE ISLAND (roughly 1740). Hands was one of Blackbeard's crew in 1716 - 1718, and was the only survivor of that crew from Blackbeard's last battle in 1718. The pirate chief shot him in the knee, wounding him severely enough to keep from fighting. Hands was put ashore before the battle, and watched while his mates were killed or captured (and eventually hanged). Hands died years later as a beggar in London. Oh, and the inn, "the Admiral Benbow" is named for Admiral John Benbow (died 1702) who was a hero of the Navy in the period of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Reviewed by RebHarkness 9 /10

A map, a boy, a ship, pirates, treasure--and friendship.

Yes, 9 stars from me, certain I am! This version's my favorite treasure-hunt-pirate movie, it ought to be on DVD just as it is, not colorized. I know, Beery's basically the same guy he played in most of his talkies. But someone at MGM had a flash of casting genius cuz Beery is the spittin' image of the Sea Cook in Winslow Homer's illustrations for the novel, and he wears the role like his favorite pair of--um--shoe. And even if the only English accents seem to come from Nigel Bruce (most prominently) and (who else? can't recall), somehow this cast makes their variety of UnitedStatesian accents work. They pull it off. There are a few differences between the novel and this movie version, but darn few and so what. There's no shortage of remakes & won't be. I'll take this version! Saw it on TV three or four times in my teen yrs, having read the novel when I was 12, and the differences were never significant to me. I've seen Disney's, which I liked on the Disneyland telecast, but, while Robert Newton is a definitive Long John Silver and the quintessential adventure-tale pirate--people today say Arrrr! because of his performance--Bobby Driscoll's Jim Hawkins never quite did the job in my opinion. (And Jack Palance is another great actor and his Long John Silver terrific but the version he's in is embarrassingly bad. Haven't seen the Charlton Heston.) Gotta go with this MGM version, Jackie Cooper's pout and all (but does Cooper have Presence!). From the opening scene, in which we are introduced to Jim Hawkins and Billy Bones (Lionel Barrymore having the time of his life! and setting the standard for the rest of the cast), and the unfolding story giving us as motley & mangy a bunch of pirates as ever were--among them Charles McNaughton as Black Dog, Charles Bennett as a creepy Dandy Dawson, Douglas Dumbrille as Israel Hands, and "Chic" Sale as loony Ben Gunn--to the last frame of the last scene this is a downright exciting adventure, and I think it does Robert Louis Stevenson proud (yep, even w/the minor differences). To your kids: I suggest finding an edition of the novel w/ Winslow Homer's illustrations, read that first, cuz there's nothing like the original, with justright illustrations for a bonus, and your imagination. Then sit your parents down & watch this MGM version with 'em. You'll have a fine family evening. Yes, you will, sez I!! Now get me a noggin' o' rum!!!

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