In this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure novel, a young Jim Hawkins (Christian Bale) finds a treasure map and sets sail for the tropical island shown on the map--aboard a ship captained pirate Long John Silver (Charlton Heston), who is eager to doublecross the boy and steal the riches buried on Treasure Island.]]>
Treasure Island (1990)
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Top Customer Reviews
Though not as violent as some films, this would easily earn a PG, or even PG-13 rating. So parents should keep that in mind. It's a little bloody, befitting pirates that can and do commit murder (one character is shown with his throat slit). There are a few "battle" scenes and characters get shot and die. Overall, this is a rousing adventure story, with top notch acting, great locations and a strong score. Highly recommended, and I suggest families read the book and then watch the film together - great way to connect!
As to the DVD, this is a fairly bare bones edition. It does have a director's commentary, but there are no other extras. I would have liked some featurettes on the actors, the book, or the time period, but I still won't hesitate to recommend this.Read more ›
The soundtrack is by Paddy Moloney and performed by The Cheiftains, and is also very effective.
Christian Bale, so moving two years earlier in "Empire of the Sun", is here courageous and strong; only fourteen at the time this was made, he is quite remarkable, and Heston does a turn as the bad guy, and is sensational as old wily Silver, saying things like "I'll have yer liver for breakfast !".
Director Fraser Heston, who made his cinematic debut as the infant Moses in the 1956 "The Ten Commandments" his father starred in, keeps the pacing fast and though there are a lot of sword fights and shooting, it is mostly sound effects and there is very little in the way of gore, making the film suitable for children. The dialect of the sailors sounds foreign at first, but one soon gets used to it.
Originally made for television, this is rousing, exceptional story-telling, that will keep one's interest for numerous viewings.
Total running time is 132 minutes.
Update, October 2010: See the comments section -- it is being reported that a DVD release may finally come in 2011. Yarrr! And about time, too. Tremendous cast, sterling production values, brilliant cinematography, rousing musical score, crack screenplay, and vibrant performances make this an enduring classic.
I also want to put in a plug for the greatest pirate film to star a swashbuckling female, "Anne of the Indies" (aka "The Pirate Queen"), which has sadly never been released to home video in No. America but has aired on cable TV and is available on PAL Region 2 DVD (as Die Piratenkonigin) in Germany. If you have an all-region DVD player, you should run, not walk, to Amazon Deutschland and pick this up. It's the original English-language release, just switch off any German language options or subtitling. Jean Peters stars as Captain Anne Providence and gives her all in a wonderfully engaging, if corny, color production from about 1951. Peters is genuinely athletic, beautiful, and obviously loved this role. Anne of the Indies beats all other pirate queens hands down.
Now, if only they'd make a film about Grania O'Malley, we'd be splicin' the mainbrace!
and vote for it (on the right hand side of the screen).
If the link does not work, then do a Google search for Turner Classic Movies, then search on the site for Treasure Island (1990). Maybe if enough people vote for it, it will actually be released on DVD. It can't hurt.
This is by far THE BEST rendition of Treasure Island ever done and probably that ever will be done. The book, of course, is fantastic. But this movie, with Mr. Heston's unsurpassed portrayal of Long John Silver, is pure gold!
My wife and I saw this when it first aired on TV, and we instantly fell in love with it.
The soundtrack, featuring the wonderful Irish folk music band "The Chieftains" stirs the soul. For anyone with a love of the sea, the segment where the Hispaniola sets sail will bring a tear to your eye. The acting, from first to last, is top notch. Oliver Reed gives a fantastic performance as Billy Bones. The costuming, the sets, and the almost complete adherence to Robert Louis Stevenson's timeless classic all combine to make this movie a truly epic voyage!
I have pre-ordered this gem, and will now just have to wait...a little bit longer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful version of the old classic. Look at the cast. And, the themes are by The Chieftains. Impressive.Published 2 days ago by M. J. Mollenhour
fun to see Christian Bale as a young boy. Always love seeing Charlton. Great story.Published 7 days ago by Susee Fox
Shiver me timbers! This is the best, most accurate, movie version of the classic Treasure Island yarn. Read morePublished 10 days ago by JP
Nice to watch a movie based on a book that does not try to "improve" a good story.Published 20 days ago by g.l.myers
Hands down the best version of Treasure Island I've ever seen on film. It's gritty and realistic (as much as it can be for a 90's TV movie) and has a lot of really fantastic... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dave