After the Treasure Island adventure, Long John Silver turns up on a British Caribbean island, where he hears that rival pirate Mendoza has taken the ship carrying the governor's daughter...and his young friend Jim Hawkins. Naturally, there's more to his rescue plan than meets the eye; he hopes to get a new ship and go back for more treasure...
Robert Newton ... Long John Silver
Connie Gilchrist ... Purity Pinker
Lloyd Berrell ... Capt. Mendoza, 'El Toro'
Grant Taylor ... Patch
Rod Taylor ... Israel Hands (as Rodney Taylor)
Harvey Adams ... Sir Henry Strong
Muriel Steinbeck ... Lady Strong
Henry Gilbert ... Billy Bowlegs
John Brunskill ... Old Stringley
Eric Reiman ... Lanky pirate
Harry Hambleton ... Big Eric
Syd Chambers ... Ned Shill
Director: Byron Haskin
Codecs: DivX 5 / MP3
This Australian production made four years after Walt Disney's version of Treasure Island has Robert Newton reprising his role of Long John Silver. Returning characters from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island are Jim Hawkins and Israel Hands.
The Disney version of Treasure Island was a once in a lifetime mating of an actor so perfect for the role he was cast in. Robert Newton was a man who needed a firm directorial hand normally, but Long John Silver is one of those larger than life parts where the sky isn't even the limit when it comes to chewing scenery. Newton throws himself into this role just as he did in Treasure Island and again in Blackbeard the Pirate, he was put on this planet to play pirates.
This film finds Long John rescuing the Governor of Jamaica's daughter and then returning to Treasure Island for more treasure. Jim Hawkins, who apparently never went back to the UK, is also along for the ride. On Treasure Island Newton has to deal with another pirate captain named Mendoza and Israel Hands from his old crew.
Now all of us who know the story of Treasure Island know that Jim Hawkins killed Israel Hands in the story. But it turns out not to be the case. Seems that he only blinded him and Hands has been living on Treasure Island ever since waiting for the return of Silver and Hawkins. In this film, Hands is played by young Rod Taylor in his second film and under his full name of Rodney Taylor. As resourceful as Taylor makes Hands, there ain't no way I believe a blind man survived on an uninhabited island for years.
Another character is introduced here, a woman who runs a waterfront dive named Purity played by Connie Gilchrist. She has hopes of marrying the incorrigible reprobate Silver, but no such luck. Gilchrist and Newton's scenes are very cute and are more than faintly reminiscent of Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler.
The success of this film led to a TV series Long John Silver with both Newton and Gilchrist and young Kip Taylor as Jim Hawkins. It might have gone on longer than a season, but for Robert Newton's death from acute alcoholism. Read David Niven's memoir Bring on the Empty Horses for a fine account of a man much loved by friends and colleagues, but with a deadly weakness for the 'craiture' as the Irish refer to it.
Long John Silver is a film with a lot of weaknesses in plot and structure, but carried by the indomitable Robert Newton and the strength of his career role.
Robert Newton returns once again to his famous role from TREASURE ISLAND, that of Long John Silver. Once more he chews the scenery with gusto and is just grand fun to watch in this particular role any time you can catch him.
This time Long John sets out to save young Jim Hawkins (played by Kit Taylor who sadly doesn't possess the memorable screen presence that his predecessor Bobby Driscoll put into the role) from a cutthroat pirate named "El Toro" Mendoza (Lloyd Berrell) but also added into the mix are a slightly more memorable crew of pirates following after Long John's lead and Long John's frequently comedic interactions with his main squeeze Purity Pinker (Connie Gilchrist), who has her eyes firmly set on marriage and settling down the old sea Captain. Things become truly adventurous when the band of pirates set out for a return to Treasure Island and meet up with some most unexpected surprises and obstacles along the way.
In many ways, this unofficial sequel to the classic Walt Disney film, has a more gritty, real down to Earth feel about it although it really adds little new to the mix. Still any boy who ever dreamed of pirates and searching for lost treasure should find much to enjoy here. Great fun overall, Newton is just a pure delight to watch in this entertaining, surprisingly well-written and executed boys fantasy brought to life.
Flavorful but overlong sequel to the Walt Disney version of TREASURE ISLAND (1950), which had given Robert Newton his trademark role of R.L. Stevenson's one-legged pirate Long John Silver; unsurprisingly, being an independent production – filmed on a low budget in Australia – it wasn't up to the standards of the earlier film (or the equally well-regarded 1934 MGM version with Wallace Beery as Silver), despite employing the same actor and director!
While I haven't watched the Disney or MGM films in years, the pirate lingo here – and particularly Newton's hammy delivery of it – got to be a bit too much after a while; besides, Kit Taylor is pretty bland as Jim Hawkins (stepping in for Bobby Driscoll) and the DeLuxe color rather unattractive and cheap-looking (though the poor-quality print I watched didn't help matters any)! Slow-starting and altogether juvenile (particularly the subplot involving Connie Gilchrist, a hearty tavern-keeper hellbent on reforming – and marrying – Silver!), the film picks up steam during the second half with the pirates' return to Treasure Island (where they find Israel Hands, played by Rod Taylor – but I'm damned if I recognized him! – still alive but now a blindman and craving Hawkins' blood), which also serves as the site of their showdown with a rival band of cutthroats, headed by a Spaniard nicknamed "El Toro". Still, it's Newton's show all the way: his scenery-chewing antics make the film bearable, and he even went on to reprise his role yet again for a TV series…