Treasure Island (1990)
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Treasure Island (1990) (DVD)
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.]]>
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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.
This film version has more realistic and suspensful action. The soundtrack is excellent, but you may miss the catchy songs that are in some of the other versions (not included here). There are half a dozen curse words uttered by Pirates (not surprising) which, along with the violence, would probably make this PG-13 if it had earned a MPAA rating. On the positive side, there are several references to Christian faith which is in keeping with the book and refreshing given their usual gratuitous ommission by Hollywood.
My 12-year-old twins boys agree that this is by far the finest movie production of Treasure Island. But with Moses, Batman and Saruman in the cast, how could you go wrong?