48 user 4 critic

Treasure Island (1990)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Crime | TV Movie 22 January 1990
The treasure seeking adventures of young Jim Hawkins and pirate Captain Long John Silver.


Fraser C. Heston (as Fraser Clarke Heston)


Fraser C. Heston (as Fraser Clarke Heston), Robert Louis Stevenson (novel)
2,590 ( 173)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Long John Silver
Christian Bale ... Jim Hawkins
Oliver Reed ... Capt. Billy Bones
Christopher Lee ... Blind Pew
Richard Johnson ... Squire Trelawney
Julian Glover ... Dr. Livesey
Isla Blair ... Mrs. Hawkins
Clive Wood ... Captain Smollet
Nicholas Amer ... Ben Gunn (as Nicolas Amer)
John Abbott John Abbott ... Joyce
James Cosmo ... Redruth
James Coyle James Coyle ... Morgan
Michael Halsey ... Israel Hands
Michael Thoma Michael Thoma ... Hunter
Pete Postlethwaite ... George Merry (as Peter Postlethwaite)


Young Jim Hawkins, while running the Benbow Inn with his mother, meets Captain Billy Bones, who dies at the inn while it is besieged by buccaneers led by Blind Pew. Jim and his mother fight off the attackers and discover Billy Bones' treasure map for which the buccaneers had come. Jim agrees to sail on the Hispaniola with Squire Trelawney and Dr. Livesey to find the treasure on a mysterious island. Upon arriving at the island, ship's cook and scalawag Long John Silver leads a mutiny of crew members who want the treasure for themselves. Jim helps the Squire and Hispaniola officers to survive the mutiny and fight back against Silver's men, who have taken over the Hispaniola. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sail the high seas. Battle the pirates. Live the adventure.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

22 January 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Treasure Island See more »

Filming Locations:

Clovelly, Devon, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Charlton Heston, Oliver Reed, and Sir Christopher Lee previously appeared together in The Three Musketeers (1973). Both movies were later remade by the Walt Disney Company: The Three Musketeers (1993) and Muppet Treasure Island (1996). In both movies, Heston's role was played by Tim Curry. See more »


When Ben Gunn attempts to spook the pirates as they search for the treasure he uses the words of Flint; "Darby McGraw, Darby McGraw; fetch aft the Rum, Darby" and one of the pirates confirmed these were Flint's last words.How did Gunn KNOW these were Flints last words as he was marooned by the captain several years before his death ? This is a clear error and one created by the script as the book has Gunn being marooned by another crew in another ship because, having recognised the island as where Flint's treasure is buried, they get angry with him when they can't find it and punish him by leaving him there. The fault therefore lies with the script in attempting to abridge his story. See more »


Squire Trelawney: Mutiny! By God, I'll see them hang for it!
Dr. Livesey: It's worse than Mutiny, Squire. It's murder. And if they're successful you won't see anything at all because you will be quite dead!
Squire Trelawney: Captain, you were right and I was wrong. I own myself an ass and I await your orders.
Captain Smollet: No more an ass than I, sir. This crew beats me!
Dr. Livesey: It's that Silver, he's a most remarkable man!
Captain Smollet: He'd look remarkably from a yard arm!
See more »


Version of Treasure Island (1999) See more »


The Star of the County Down
[Heard in the background during the Bristol tavern scene]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

My favorite version
24 June 2003 | by ateelahSee all my reviews

I have to agree with everyone who has lauded this film as the best adaptation of Stevenson's novel. "Treasure Island" has long been one of my favorite books and this is the first version that comes closest to my vision of the story. Fraser Heston obviously knew and loved this book, it's evident in every frame. The costumes, the sets, the actors and the music all combine to create an unforgettable cinematic adventure. When I first heard that Charlton Heston was going to play Long John Silver, I was skeptical, but his performance was spot on. He was able to communicate the moral ambiguity of Stevenson's character without making him comical. He comes across as a man who is at once dangerous and compelling.

Christian Bale was a great Jim Hawkins, coming closer to the way I pictured him in the book than any actor previously. The scene on the ship when Israel Hands is chasing him up the rigging was exactly the way I envisioned it, with all the urgency and tension it required.

Let me just take this opportunity to say that, while I wasn't familiar with Pete Postlethwaite before this film, his portrayal of George Merry really made me pay attention. All the supporting actors were perfect. Christopher Lee's Blind Pew is the stuff of nightmares and Oliver Reed as Billy Bones looked closest to the way I had always envisioned him.

The musical score by the Chieftains is one of the most perfect for any TV movie I have ever seen, and better than many for big screen films. It's one of the few scores I purchased on CD so that I could just listen to the music.

In spite of a few continuity errors, this film captured perfectly the look and feel of Stevenson's tale. It's one film I never tire of watching and I highly recommend it.

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