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Thursday, June 5, 2008

TREASURE ISLAND (1950)


The post-Walt/pre-Eisner era at Disney hit rock-bottom in the mid-‘70s, when the studio re-released a defanged version of their fine 1950 adaptation of TREASURE ISLAND (a critical & commercial success that Walt was particularly pleased with) to avoid getting their first-ever PG rating. Walt would have been as livid as the flesh tones on Robert Newton ’s memorable Long John Silver had he but known. The offending footage has now been restored, but not alas the picture quality which has a lot of spackling and imprecise Technicolor registration that keeps Freddie Young ’s superb lensing from looking its best. No matter, the story is even tastier (and trickier) than you remember, Bobby Driscoll ’s non-Brit Jim Hawkins is fine, and the relatively modest supporting cast & production does the job smartly.

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