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Treasure Island

Treasure Island(1934)

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Robert Louis Stevenson's novel first appeared in Young Folks from 1881 to June 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, Motion Picture Herald 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 Hollywood Reporter 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.