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Treasure Island (1999)

Not Rated | | Drama | 24 January 1999 (USA)
This film has nothing to do with Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story. Rather this movie is about the World War II naval base called Treasure Island that was located in San Francisco Bay.... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Body
Daisy Hall ...
Scot Thomas Robinson ...
Jimmy (as Scot Robinson)
Dolph Scott ...
Bob Byington ...
Thomas (as Robert Byington)
George Hirschmann ...
Becket Cook ...
The Gent


This film has nothing to do with Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story. Rather this movie is about the World War II naval base called Treasure Island that was located in San Francisco Bay. Set in mid WWII, two code specialists are hard at work trying to decipher Japanese messages and sending confusing messages to deceive the Japanese. However the film is more about the sexual mores of the day than about the wartime effort. It seems each of the coders has a secret. The first is secretly a polygamist, with one wife being Japanese-American that he keeps hidden away so she won't face detention and the other wife being sickly leaving her unable to go out, as well. The other man can only have sex with his wife if another man is watching his performance. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Not Rated


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Release Date:

24 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La isla del tesoro  »

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1.37 : 1
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by Artie Shaw
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User Reviews

Communication Breakdown
28 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

The Treasure Island DVD should be required viewing in any film production course! It's a textbook example of how NOT to make a movie. Watching the movie and then listening to the writer/director's commentary demonstrates graphically the vast chasm between what he knows about the characters and what he communicates to his audience about them. Call me old-fashioned, but I think of movies as a means of communication, and communication isn't complete if the audience doesn't know what the hell the director is talking about. The director's avowed purpose is to make a movie void of "Hollywood conventions". Among those conventions, alas, is consistency of character and clarity of concept. The director himself realizes that audiences often don't understand points where he has purposely avoided a "Hollywood cliche". However, he never seems to grasp the idea that cliches exist for a reason. They are shorthand for conveying complex ideas quickly and clearly. It's fine to avoid them, but they need to be replaced with some other way of communicating the same idea, not simply eliminated. The film is built on an intriguing premise, rich with potential. Two guys are assigned to fabricate a personality and background for an unidentified corpse that is to be used in a disinformation mission in the closing days of WWII. Soon each begins to populate their personal fantasies with the character and their invention becomes increasingly real to them. Someone with less disdain for the "Hollywood convention" of traditional storytelling could create a wonderful film with this idea. This film certainly isn't it! The actors do everything they can to bring consistency to these characters, but they are all too often defeated by the dazed and confused script. In particular, I'm becoming increasingly impressed by Jonah Blechman, who plays the lively corpse. In a number of independent films, he always stands out as a very charismatic young actor.

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