|Music:||Herbert Stothart (original score) |
Thomas Augustine Arne ("Rule Britannia")
|Cinematography:||Clyde De Vinna |
|Released:||August 17 1934 (USA)|
Treasure Island (1934) is a movie adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous 1883 novel Treasure Island. Jim Hawkins (Jackie Cooper) discovers a treasure map and travels on a sailing ship to a remote island, but pirates led by Long John Silver (Wallace Beery) threaten to take away the honest seafarers’ riches and lives.
Rum craving seafaring man Billy Bones (Lionel Barrymore) arrives at the inn of Jim Hawkins and his mother (Dorothy Peterson) one archetypal dark and stormy night. It is soon evident that Bill is being avidly pursued, and shortly after sundown a shady blind man delivers Bill “The Black Spot,” a death sentence. Overcome, Bill dies of a stroke, and Jim and his mother break in to Bill’s sea-chest to recover their dues. Jim grabs a map and barely escapes with his mother from a small group of men breaking into the inn, looking for that very same map.
Upon examination, Jim’s discovery is found to be none other than a treasure map, and a voyage is quickly organized to journey to the small island indicated and recover the riches. However, as the time for departure grows near, several crew members of the ship, the Hispaniola, have inexplicably disappeared. One-legged Long John Silver ambles by the ship and, posing as an ex-navy man, is soon able to maneuver his way into a position as ship’s cook. The naïve Squire Trelawney (Nigel Bruce) is overjoyed and cannot wait to sign on Silver as well as many other hands Silver knows. As Silver begins to leave to go inform his men of their opportunity to sign onto the crew, Jim begs to accompany him, and Trelawney forces Silver to accept. Though Jim remains unaware, it is clearly revealed to the audience that Silver’s “honest men” are buccaneers who have knowledge of the true purpose of the voyage, and have been scheming to come aboard for some time.
However, the voyage sets sail with Captain Smollett (Lewis Stone) and the other honest men aboard still unaware. Following two dubious accidental deaths, Jim overhears a conversation while hidden inside an enormous apple barrel and realizes that Silver and his men are pirates. Upon relating this to the officers, it is decided that the treasure greedy pirates will be allowed to go ashore to the island, but the Hispaniola will then sail without them. Jim, though, unwittingly rides one of the longboats to shore, and then becomes frightened and runs off into the jungle alone only to discover marooned and slightly mad Ben Gunn (Charles 'Chic' Sale).
Meanwhile, the Captain and Trelawney cannot leave the island without Jim, so decide to go ashore and take a defensive position in an old wooden blockhouse. They reunite with Jim on the beach. The pirates storm the blockhouse, suffer moderate casualties, and retreat to the disgust of now “Captain” Silver. After hearing how important the Hispaniola is to the pirates as a supply center and base, Jim slips off into the night to cut the ship loose from its mooring. With the help of Israel Hands (Douglass Dumbrille), Jim steers the boat to another hidden location on the island. Upon their arrival, Israel attacks Jim with a throwing knife. Jim is wounded, but manages to shoot and kill Hands.
Jim returns to the blockhouse only to find it now commanded by Silver and his brigands. He is taken hostage and accompanies the pirates on their search for the treasure. Yet when they reach the spot indicated by the map, they find nothing but a gaping depression in the ground, clearly excavated a long time ago. As Silver’s men are about to mutiny, Smollett and his men launch a surprise attack and kill or capture the remaining pirates.
Jim’s confusion and unsettlement quickly turn to awe and amazement when he comes with the others to Ben Gunn’s cave, where Ben has amassed all the treasure of the island into great heaps of gold, rubies, and other riches. Soon Jim and the rest set sail for Jamaica to obtain a new crew, with Silver now imprisoned and likely to hang. While anchored at Jamaica, however, Jim “can’t stand it,” and owing to an affection he has always possessed for Silver, allows him to escape at night to the foggy shore in a rowboat.