Young Jim Hawkins is caught up with the pirate Long John Silver in search of the buried treasure of the buccaneer Captain Flint, in this adaptation of the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Jackie Cooper did not like his performance, writing in his autobiography that he felt an older English actor should have played Jim Hawkins. See more »
Capt. Alexander Smollett:
Lower the flag? Strike my colors? Not I, sir! We're without without provisions but we've plenty of powder and ball and, by heaven, sir, this spot is England!
[Salutes the Union Jack]
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I noticed, like some of the other reviewers, that few in the film had the necessary British accents needed to play these characters well. However, despite this, the movie is an excellent version of the Stevenson novel--mostly due to good acting, great sets and the nice MGM polish you'd expect from one of their top productions.
As far as the film goes, it's one of the earliest of the Wallace Beery films that teamed him with a cute kid--a formula that was repeated again and again up until Beery's death in 1949. Considering that according to his co-star, Jackie Cooper, Beery hated children and did little to hide it off camera--so I am sure in some ways Beery probably wished this and "The Champ" hadn't been so successful!!
As for the story, it's the often told story of "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's reasonably faithful to the story and is better than other versions I have seen. However, I have NOT seen the very famous Robert Newton version (by many seen as the best), so I cannot say the 1934 version was the best--though many of the newer versions tended to be a bit more dull. Like it or not, the Beery-Cooper schmaltz was entertaining--and I can see why audiences fell for it by the millions!
By the way, like so many releases from Turner Entertainment, this film includes many wonderful extras from the same studio (MGM) from the same year as this feature's release. Turner also does this with many of their classic Warner Brothers releases as well--making them excellent values for customers.
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