Treasure Island / dir. Byron Haskin / 1950 / star. Robert Newton

Notes on Treasure Island,with drink as a focus. Robert Newton stars as Long John Silver. Drinking as Doctor’s orders. Get strength back. Kid imitates Newton’s walk. Captain Flint, swearing blue fire in front of a gentleman. I’ll wager you can’t make her talk. [Mouth keeps moving] Drink-> “I don’t like the crew.” “I find his conduct un-English.” Labor montage/flag. LJ Silver pressures boy to keep gun. “You don’t drink, do you?” “They’re gonna cut out rum ration.” [see rationing and WW2.]

Robert Newton, cross faded.

The pirates discuss secret plans during the storm and drink rum. “You’ll need your sea legs tonight,” rocking ship. Pirate falls over, but you can’t tell if it is the ship or it is drink, because of Newton’s arrangements and the ambiguity of the moving image. 1:07 rum versus rations. The pirate Mr Hand stabs Jim, who shoots him. Jim falls on the British flag, looks up, sees the pirate flag. Raises the union jack. John Silver sees map, and then his mouth is covered by the map. “Pieces of eight,” the parrot speaks, with Newton’s mouth covered.

[Reverse ventriloquism?] “Appearances matey, appearances,” says Newton. “Look at his face, mates,” say pirates, re Newton. “You can see it wrote on his face.” In next scene, flashing coins illuminate Newton’s face.

But not Jim’s. [See Celia Johnson at the end of Brief Encounter.]

Not writ on Jim’s face.


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