Monday, May 30, 2011

Walt Disney Brings in Treasure Island Actionful Saga of Fabulous Pirate Gold

05.30.11 - Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure is now translated to the screen in color by Technicolor, with Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton and Basil Sydney topping a great cast of characters.

Eureka! — Marooned Ben Gunn reveals pirate loot to awe-struck Jim Hawkins (Bobby Driscoll), Long John Silver (Robert Newton) and Squire Trelawney (Walter Fitzgerald), in Walt Disney's all-live action Treasure Island, in color by Technicolor, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's saga.
Walt Disney has brought to the screen his completely live action production, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, as a thrill-studded melodrama filmed on a spacious and realistic scale and with a story of a great prestige and red-blooded appeal to all amusement lovers, young and old.

Scene by scene and in color by Technicolor the producer matches the turbulent action, the play of elemental passions, the terrific character conflicts and the suspense inherent in famous saga of pirate treasure that lured to a distant island the young cabin boy Jim Hawkins, as played by Bobby Driscoll, the deadly rogue Long John Silver, as played by Robert Newton and Captain Smollett as played by Basil Sydney.

Treasure Island was filmed in England to get full location and atmospheric values and certain casting advantages for this "great adventure". Principals in the all- male cast, in addition to Newton, Bobby Driscoll and Sydney, are Walter Fitzgerald as Squire Trelawney, Denis O'Dea as Doctor Livesey, Ralph Truman as George Merry, Finlay Currie as Captain Billy Bones, Geoffrey Keen as Israel Hands, Francis de Wolff in the Black Dog role, John Laurie as Blind Pew and Geoffrey Wilkinson as the marooned Ben Gunn.

The all-live action method of picturing the swashbuckling tale is radically different from the animated drawings medium in which Disney customarily works his screen wonders. He organized his production personnel accordingly, selecting Director Byron Haskin for his repute in the living action field; Lawrence E. Watkin, well-known novelist and screen writer, for adaptation of the adventure tale which has been read by some 200,000,000 persons; Thomas Morahan for the stagings which supplement the outdoor English locations described by Stevenson, and his veteran producer. Perce Pearce, to manage the project.

Stevenson wrote his great sea tale of pirates and buried treasure and the hunt and battle for it expressly for his 13-year- old stepson, Lloyd Osborne. But he confessed that he himself and his older friends thrilled to the immortal saga as it came full-blooded from his pen. The author's work now has been translated to a living form, conceded to be electrifying in its impact on the screen, as the greatest adventure of all.

From the original 1950 Treasure Island press materials.


  1. The cast of characters is really great. I think it wouldn't be better, I can't imagine it to be different...

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