Fine adaptation, but beware the English version...
What we have here, surprisingly turns out to be one of the finest film adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island that I have seen. Beloved in Germany were it first appeared as a "four-parter" at Christmas 1966, this version, while not 100% adherent to the novel, nevertheless captures a spirit of adventure that is sadly missing in many other versions. One of the more problematic aspects is the casting of Michael Ande as Jim Hawkins. At 22 this former child star is simply too old for the role, yet he is likable and attractive and plays with such a boyish verve that one soon forgets his advanced age. English actor Ivor Dean cuts a fine figure as Long John Silver and unlike so many who have played the role gets his point across without chewing the scenery. The rest of the cast is equally fine. The whole thing is beautifully filmed and looks very expensive for a television production. At 344 minutes, you'd think that it would suffer from over-length, but it does not. I watched the whole thing in one sitting, riveted. By the way, the DVD of Die Schatzinsel offers no English language subtitles, but even with my beginning German skills (I can't speak a lick of German!) I liked this a lot.
Just a word of caution: My first experience with this movie was a badly dubbed English version, cut down to movie length. I thought it was horrible, badly paced, dull, incoherent and just plain odd. Well,of course it was bad! Aside from the washed out print and the horrible voice work, over three hours of the film had been cut! Avoid that version like the plague.
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