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106 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute best version!
I remember watching this made for TV movie when it first aired in 1990, and I fell in love with it. I wore down the VHS that was released and am so glad this is finally coming to DVD (thank you Amazon for the alerts!). I think this is hands down the best adaptation of the classic book I have ever seen. And, this looks and feels like a major motion picture, rather than...
Published on July 7, 2011 by Jem

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun movie for family
Treasure Island is one of my favorite childhood stories. Love Charlton Heston. Love watching Christain Bale as a young actor. Another great adventure movie for the family.
Published 11 months ago by Katherine L. Rollins


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106 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute best version!, July 7, 2011
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This review is from: Treasure Island (1990) (DVD)
I remember watching this made for TV movie when it first aired in 1990, and I fell in love with it. I wore down the VHS that was released and am so glad this is finally coming to DVD (thank you Amazon for the alerts!). I think this is hands down the best adaptation of the classic book I have ever seen. And, this looks and feels like a major motion picture, rather than a TV movie. The cast is phenomenal, and the production values are high. Charlton Heston completely disappears into the role of Long John Silver, and makes viewers sympathize and even root for the scurrilous pirate. I have found that the kid cast as Jim Hawkins is usually the week link in film versions of Treasure Island. However, Christian Bale shows his potential and then some here. He easily stands toe-to-toe with the veteran actors surrounding him, and embodies the central role of the film. Even small parts, like Blind Pew, stand out with the incomparable Christopher Lee in the role.

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. The picture quality is crisp for a 20+ year old tv movie. One odd thing though - the DVD does not have a scene selection menu, only "play movie." Again, not a biggie since I can fast forward or rewind, but still unusual. Overall, the film is fantastic and easily worth the retail price (which Amazon has discounted).

UPDATE: A commenter asked about subtitles & I realized others might appreciate that info as well. The DVD has Enlish Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired, as well as Spanish and French substitles.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shiver TNT's timbers unless they issue the DVD right smart!, May 21, 2004
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This review is from: Treasure Island [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Brilliant, wonderful adaptation of R. L. Stevenson's classic seafaring tale -- this is beyond doubt THE best pirate film to have yet been made. Bar none. If you don't clap this one to your heart, ye be a false-sworn landlubber, by thunder, and here's my affydavy on that!

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!
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stellar cast, fabulous adventure, July 6, 2004
This review is from: Treasure Island [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A terrific telling of Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure, Christian Bale as the young Jim Hawkins and Charlton Heston as Long John Silver are both superb, and head a great cast: Richard Johnson, Oliver Reed, Clive Wood, and Julian Glover among the many actors that bring the story to life. Filmed in Jamaica, as well as the Hispaniola, a beauty of a ship, the scenery and cinematography by Robert Steadman are marvelous.
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.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vote for a DVD release at TCM, December 22, 2005
By 
Blackhawk (Huntsville, AL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Treasure Island [VHS] (VHS Tape)
If you would like to see this version of Treasure Island released on DVD, as I do, then please go to this link:

[...]

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.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST!!!, July 7, 2011
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This review is from: Treasure Island (1990) (DVD)
I was absolutely THRILLED to see the notice in my inbox this morning that this movie has FINALLY been released on DVD! Why Turner waited so long to make this available is a real mystery, although I have my suspicions, some of which I stated in my review back in 2006 of the VHS version.

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.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give Ted Turner the BLACK SPOT if he doesn't put this on DVD!, April 9, 2006
By 
This review is from: Treasure Island [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Okay....CLEARLY, there are many of us who have vehemently and emphatically stated how badly we want this movie to be RELEASED ON DVD! So, Mr. Turner....what's the deal? My wife and I saw this movie when it was first aired on TV, and INSTANTLY fell in love with it. It is, as others have mentioned, THE BEST PIRATE MOVIE EVER! As we all know, the TV and movie industries are all about $$$, and the bar silver surely awaits Turner Home Video should they release this AMAZING MASTERPIECE on DVD! We turned various family members on to this movie when it first aired, and we all agree that Charlton Heston IS LONG JOHN SILVER.

So, Mr. Turner, whatever your beef is with the NRA or what have you, as a man who is synonymous with movies, you have to admit, this movie is the BEST version ever of TREASURE ISLAND, and it is BEGGING to be released on DVD. So as Dr. Livesey stated to Billy Bones, "LET THAT SUFFICE."
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is about time!!!, July 7, 2011
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This review is from: Treasure Island (1990) (DVD)
All I can say if you have not seen this movie you will wonder why it has not been out on DVD yet. This is just such a great movie!!!

"It's the Black Spot"

If you like pirates aka real pirates this is a great movie for you. Sorry Capt. Jack, Long John Silver puts you to shame.

I have the old recording from that TV airing with all the Long John Silvers commercials. I have gone as far as putting it on DVD but my VCR tape was recored in EP or is that LP either way the video quality was poor. Will be so gla to add this to my DVD collection too bad it is not in Blue-Ray but for $10 and some change it is a great buy. I still play the sound track from the Chieftains in the car. But the salt in the air and we live in Arizona.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great exposition, a towering climax, and a respectful ending, November 6, 2001
This review is from: Treasure Island [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Set in the 1790s, young Jim Hawkins (Christian Bale), after finding a map of Treasure Island that leads to the prodigious treasure of Captain Flint, immediately notifies Doctor Livsey (Julian Glover). Within a short time a large ship, the Hispanola, has set sail for the island. Once there, Jim Hawkins discovers a secret about the ship's cook, Long John Silver (Charlton Heston), that changes their quest for gold into a fight for survival on the treacherous Treasure Island.
This movie, although made in 1990, has spectacular scenes and sequences, and beautiful shots of the Hispanola. (It may be noted that a real ship was used for the production of this film.) With a beautiful re-creation of 18th century exploration, this movie is great for all ages. This movie is laid out in nearly perfect accordance with Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (One of the greatest novels of all time.).
Finally, a film worth watching that has a plethora of action, suspense and fighting, with a great story-line, and without a glut of blood and violence. This is an adventuresome, action-packed movie suited for nearly all ages. This, although I do not have a large interest in 18th century exploration, is one of my favorite films. Any true movie fan can acknowledge the scrutinization, meticulosity, and perfection that went into the production of this film to make it what it is. I only wish this were released on DVD.
Brought to you by Turner Home Entertainment, Treasure Island has all the thrills, chills, suspense, and heart-pounding sequences needed to make any film worth watching. As one of Charlton Heston's best films, Treasure Island is a film that, no matter what the date, keeps your attention from the first scene to the last. If you haven't seen Treasure Island, you don't yet know the true definition of adventure.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant adaptation, definitely worth owning!, January 5, 2000
This review is from: Treasure Island [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I was hooked on this film from the first time I saw it on television almost 10 years ago. I had never actually read the book, but it didn't matter. From the opening sequence of Billy Bones (a very excellent Oliver Reed)'s arrival at the Admiral Benbow, through young Jim Hawkins (the even more excellent and underrated actor Christian Bale)'s adventure on the high seas in search for buried treasure, all the way up to the climactic battles between the good guys and the pirates led by the fearful Long John Silver (Charleton Heston, in what I consider his best role ever!), this film is nonstop action, adventure, and great fun! It has a great plot, great characters, and even some comical moments. It will make you want to pick up the book and read it all over again. Every person of every age and gender can appreciate this movie. It is an essential modern classic.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...even Flint was afeard of Long John Silver!", September 13, 2003
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This review is from: Treasure Island [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Although the 1934 and 1950 (Disney) versions of "Treasure Island" are both quite good and still worth watching, I believe that this is the definitive version of the timeless story of piracy and high seas adventure. Charleton Heston is the best Long John Silver that I have ever seen on film ("Them that dies will be the luckey ones!"), better than Robert Newton or Wallace Beery. The supporting cast is excellent. I can only imagine that acting luminaries such as Oliver Reed and Christopher Lee must have had great fun making this movie. Christian Bale was excellent as Jim Hawkins, although possibly a year or two old for the role. But why carp? Very few liberties are taken with the original story in this film version and that is good because the original book is hard to improve upon. One of the most striking aspects about the Fraser Heston version of "Treasure Island" are the remarkable visual effects and the apparent care given to recreate the look and feel of N. C. Wyeth's famous illustrations of Robert Louis Stephenson's book. Possibly some of the language and violence may not be suitable for young children, but have you ever heard real sailors talk? This movie is no more violent than the daily fare on CNN. I have a videotape of this film recorded off of television but I would love to buy a copy if it were on DVD.
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Treasure Island (1990)
Treasure Island (1990) by Fraser C. Heston (DVD - 2011)
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