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Thursday, June 5, 2008

TREASURE ISLAND (1934)


Superior version of the Stevenson adventure yarn is marvelously eccentric & often downright scary, evincing little of the expected M-G-M refinement thanks to strong helming from Victor Fleming, that most unheralded of Hollywood masters. Wallace Beery & Jackie Cooper have less British flavor than the ‘50s Disney/Robert Newton edition, but they’re fine in their own manner while the rest of the cast and production tops all other versions. Lionel Barrymore & Lewis Stone give standout perfs. How’d Fleming and his crack cinematographers get away with such a dark chiaroscuro palette at M-G-M?

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