Wallace Beery, Jack Palance and Orson Welles have all tackled the role of Long John Silver (and don’t forget there is also Tim Curry’s comic version in Muppet Treasure Island), but it was Robert Newton who best captured the infamous pirate in this Disney family movie.
As students of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic already know, young Jim Hawkins (child actor Driscoll, who provided the voice for Disney’s animated Peter Pan) joins Squire Trelawney (Walter Fitzgerald) and Dr Livesey (Denis O’Dea) aboard the Hispaniola in search of buried treasure in the Caribbean. Also on board, of course, is Long John Silver, the one-legged pirate with nefarious plans of his own.
A must-see for little boys and girls who love pirates, this is fine for all ages (if you don’t mind that most of the shipmates swig alcohol throughout) and is packed with action and fun performances. And fact fans should note – while it’s supposedly set around the Caribbean, it was actually filmed in sunny Cornwall!
Is Treasure Island suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There are some sword fights, but they are pretty bloodless.