Treasure Island (1934)

109-110 mins | Adventure | 17 August 1934

Director:

Victor Fleming

Writer:

John Lee Mahin

Producer:

Hunt Stromberg

Cinematographers:

Clyde De Vinna, Harold Rosson, Ray June

Editor:

Blanche Sewell

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Robert Louis Stevenson's novel first appeared in Young Folks from 1881 to Jun 1882 under the title The Sea Cook or Treasure Island . The opening title card reads, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island ." The end title card of the viewed print was superimposed over an "NRA" membership emblem. According to contemporary news items, as well as the picture's presskit, portions of the film were shot on location on and around Santa Catalina Island and Oakland, CA. A pre-production news item also noted that some exteriors were to be filmed in Hawaii. Information provided by the Point Lobos Historical Society notes that some scenes were also filmed at Point Lobos, CA. In its review, MPH lists the running time as 95 min. "on the Coast," but all other sources list it as 109 to 110 mins. Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper had previously appeared together in the very successful 1931 film The Champ , and 1933's The Bowery . Although some reviewers noted their continued appeal in this picture, most said the film was too long to hold the audience's interest. According to modern sources, however, the film did become one of M-G-M's biggest hits of the year. A HR news item in 1938 noted that the picture was being re-issued that summer. Stevenson's story has been adapted for the screen many times, including the 1917 Fox version directed by C. M. and S. A. Franklin, with Francis Carpenter and Violet Radcliffe, and the 1920 Famous Players-Lasky, Maurice Tourneur directed version with Charles Ogle and Shirley Mason (see ... More Less

Robert Louis Stevenson's novel first appeared in Young Folks from 1881 to Jun 1882 under the title The Sea Cook or Treasure Island . The opening title card reads, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island ." The end title card of the viewed print was superimposed over an "NRA" membership emblem. According to contemporary news items, as well as the picture's presskit, portions of the film were shot on location on and around Santa Catalina Island and Oakland, CA. A pre-production news item also noted that some exteriors were to be filmed in Hawaii. Information provided by the Point Lobos Historical Society notes that some scenes were also filmed at Point Lobos, CA. In its review, MPH lists the running time as 95 min. "on the Coast," but all other sources list it as 109 to 110 mins. Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper had previously appeared together in the very successful 1931 film The Champ , and 1933's The Bowery . Although some reviewers noted their continued appeal in this picture, most said the film was too long to hold the audience's interest. According to modern sources, however, the film did become one of M-G-M's biggest hits of the year. A HR news item in 1938 noted that the picture was being re-issued that summer. Stevenson's story has been adapted for the screen many times, including the 1917 Fox version directed by C. M. and S. A. Franklin, with Francis Carpenter and Violet Radcliffe, and the 1920 Famous Players-Lasky, Maurice Tourneur directed version with Charles Ogle and Shirley Mason (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4550 and F1.4551). Subsequent to the 1934 M-G-M version, the story was made in 1950 by Walt Disney, directed by Byron Haskin with Robert Newton and Bobby Driscoll, and in 1954 as the Australian film Long John Silver , also directed by Haskin and starring Newton. Newton subsequently starred in an American television series of Long John Silver in 1957. Orsen Welles adapted the novel for his Mercury Theatre radio program in 1938, co-starring with Agnes Moorehead, and also appeared in a 1972 British-made film directed by John Hough. A television movie version of the novel was made in 1990, directed by Fraser Heston and starring Charlton Heston. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Mar 34
p. 10.
Daily Variety
20 Mar 34
p. 5.
Daily Variety
2 Apr 34
p. 1.
Daily Variety
12 Apr 34
p. 2.
Daily Variety
23 Jun 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Aug 32
p. 6.
Film Daily
8 Aug 34
p. 3.
HF
5 May 34
p. 8.
HF
24 Mar 34
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 34
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 38
p. 1.
Motion Picture Daily
26 Jun 34
p. 14.
Motion Picture Herald
19 May 34
p. 61.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Jul 34
p. 44.
MPSI
Feb 35
p. 17.
New York Times
18 Aug 34
p. 5.
Variety
21 Aug 34
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Contr to trmt
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
STAND INS
Singing voice double for Charles "Chic" Sale
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (London, 1883).
SONGS
"Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum," traditional.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island
Release Date:
17 August 1934
Production Date:
20 March---late May 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 August 1934
Copyright Number:
LP 4908
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
109-110
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Young Jim Hawkins and his mother run the Admiral Benbow Inn near Bristol, England. During a birthday celebration, the mysterious Billy Bones arrives and drunkenly talks about treasure. Soon after, Bones is visited by Black Dog then Pew, and drops dead, leaving a chest, which he bragged contained gold and jewels. Instead of money, Jim finds a map that his friend Dr. Livesey realizes will lead them to the famous Flint treasure. Squire Trelawney raises money for a voyage to the treasure island and they set sail on Captain Alexander Smollett's ship. Also on board is the one-legged Long John Silver and his cronies. Even though Bones had warned Jim about a sailor with one leg, they become friends. During the voyage, several fatal "accidents" happen to sailors who disapprove of Silver and his cohorts. Then, the night before landing on the island, Jim overhears Silver plotting to take the treasure and kill Smollett's men. Jim goes ashore with the men, and encounters an old hermit named Ben Gunn, who tells him that he has found Flint's treasure. Meanwhile, Smollett and his men flee to the island's stockade for safety. Silver's men then attack the stockade when Smollett refuses to give them the treasure map. While the situation looks hopeless, Jim secretly goes back to the ship at night, sails it to a safe location and shoots one of the pirates in self-defense. When he returns to the stockade, Silver's men are there and Silver tells them that a treaty has been signed. The pirates want to kill Jim, but Silver protects him. Dr. Livesey comes ... +


Young Jim Hawkins and his mother run the Admiral Benbow Inn near Bristol, England. During a birthday celebration, the mysterious Billy Bones arrives and drunkenly talks about treasure. Soon after, Bones is visited by Black Dog then Pew, and drops dead, leaving a chest, which he bragged contained gold and jewels. Instead of money, Jim finds a map that his friend Dr. Livesey realizes will lead them to the famous Flint treasure. Squire Trelawney raises money for a voyage to the treasure island and they set sail on Captain Alexander Smollett's ship. Also on board is the one-legged Long John Silver and his cronies. Even though Bones had warned Jim about a sailor with one leg, they become friends. During the voyage, several fatal "accidents" happen to sailors who disapprove of Silver and his cohorts. Then, the night before landing on the island, Jim overhears Silver plotting to take the treasure and kill Smollett's men. Jim goes ashore with the men, and encounters an old hermit named Ben Gunn, who tells him that he has found Flint's treasure. Meanwhile, Smollett and his men flee to the island's stockade for safety. Silver's men then attack the stockade when Smollett refuses to give them the treasure map. While the situation looks hopeless, Jim secretly goes back to the ship at night, sails it to a safe location and shoots one of the pirates in self-defense. When he returns to the stockade, Silver's men are there and Silver tells them that a treaty has been signed. The pirates want to kill Jim, but Silver protects him. Dr. Livesey comes for Jim, but the boy refuses to break his word to Silver not to run away. The next day the pirates search for the treasure hold and when they find it, it is empty. When some of the pirates mutiny against Silver, Livesey and Gunn join him in the fight. Smollett then sails home with the treasure, which Gunn had hidden in his cave, and with Silver as his prisoner. Unable to stand by and let his friend be hanged, Jim frees Silver. As he sails away, Silver promises to be good. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.