Treasure Island (1972) starring Orson Welles, Kim Burfield, Lionel Stander, Walter Slezak directed by Andrea Bianchi, John Hough, Antonio Margheriti Movie Review

Treasure Island (1972)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Orson Welles in Treasure Island (1972)

Little Treasure to be Found Here

One day Billy Bones (Lionel Stander) comes to stay at a pub run by Mrs. Hawkins (Maria Rohm) and where her young son Jim (Kim Burfield) works. But Billy has a love of the sauce and when he dies it is Jim who ends up in possession of a map showing the location of Captain Flint's treasure. Jim along with Squire Trelawney (Walter Slezak) and Dr. Livesey (Angel DelPozo) decide to follow the map which leads them on a sea journey with Captain Smollett (Rik Battaglia) who agrees to take them to the island. But everyone aboard including former pirate turned ship's cook, Long John Silver (Orson Welles) learns of the treasure map and that makes it a dangerous place to be especially with Silver willing to do anything to get his hands on the treasure.

Long ago I realised something; there are certain movies which work because of an outside connection and that connection is having read the book they are based on as a child. As such I have lost track at the number of popular movies I have watched where many a glowing review mentioned how fond the reviewer was of the story as a child. And there is nothing wrong with that but for those like me who neither read much as a child or were read to these popular movies can end up being under whelming which for me is the case of this 1972 version of "Treasure Island".

Kim Burfield in Treasure Island (1972)

So from my non fan opinion what this 1972 version of "Treasure Island" comes across as a 70s movie from Europe, which it is as it was shot in Spain. That means we have camera work which lacks flare and sharpness combined with poor sound with Orson Welles himself complaining about the finished products quality after production was finished. The sad thing is that some of the acting is good and Orson Welles makes for an interesting Long John Silver but the weak camera work and the poor sound and in some case dubbing really drags this movie down.

But of course if you are a fan of the original Treasure Island story and know what is going to happen the issues with the production will be less of an issue as the excitement of seeing it come to life will take over with famous actors like Orson Welles in the important roles.

What this all boils down to is that this 1972 version of "Treasure Island" just didn't float my boat as the 70s European production did little to impress but it will most likely entertain those who have loved the story from reading it as a child.