Film / Treasure Island 1950

The 1950 film Treasure Island was the first color adaptation of the novel. It was directed by Byron Haskin and starred Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins and Robert Newton as Long John Silver, in a performance that did much to shape popular notions of what it means to Talk Like a Pirate.

The film was produced by Walt Disney Productions, and is the first Disney movie to be entirely live-action. (At one point there was a plan for a short animated sequence illustrating a story being told to Jim, a la Song of the South, but this idea was ultimately abandoned.)

It has an unofficial non-Disney sequel, Long John Silver (1954), with Byron Haskin and Robert Newton reprising their roles but an otherwise all-new cast.


This film provides examples of:

  • Bowdlerise: Adhering to studio ethics, Disney toned down the violence for a 1975 reissue of the film in order to get a G rating. The uncut version was submitted to the MPAA in 1992 with a PG rating.
  • Chromosome Casting: The novel had only one minor female character, Jim's mother; the movie has none at all.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Ben Gunn, after being marooned on the island.
  • Large Ham: Long John Silver.
  • Papa Wolf: Silver towards Jim. He gave up the treasure to save Jim's life instead.
  • Public Domain Character: Everybody from the original novel, which is how Haskin and Newton got away with making an unofficial sequel.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Newton's Silver is the Trope Codifier.

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