Saturday, September 13, 2014

Treasure Island (1934)
Treasure Island (1934) Poster
**** out of 5

With Victor Fleming at the helm, Treasure Island is given just the right sense of adventure and atmosphere it deserves. And Wallace Beery makes a great Long John Silver, and the cast he plays with fill out the rest of the roster more ably than most other versions of this story. While they could've used a more menacing Israel Hands, the rest of the cast all fit the bill in a story that demands a lot of colorful characters. Lionel Barrymore as Billy Bones is a lot of fun in his opening scenes, chewing the scenery just as we would expect of him. Nigel Bruce is perfectly cast as the pompous Squire Trelawney, Otto Kruger suitably dashing and gallant as Doctor Livesey, Lewis Stone appropriately stern as Captain Smollett, Chic Sale is a perfectly looney Ben Gunn, and of course Jackie Cooper in the role of Jim Hawkins makes an excellent counterpart to Wallace Beery, just as he did in The Champ (1934). It's only a shame their off-screen interactions were reportedly not as good as their on-screen rapport.

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