Archive for the ‘long john silver’ tag
So last night I discovered that England – that tiny island across the water, already has access to the sequels to John Drake’s brilliant Flint&Silver. So what gives? I thought we Americans were supposed to get EVERYTHING FIRST, and now I learn that the two books I’m so eagerly awaiting are already being read and enjoyed by limeys? There is no justice.
So while discovering the nuggets above, I also found this:
Now, before you wet yourself in excitement, note that the story is from March of 2008 – so it would appear this is just one of the many unsubstantiated pirate movie rumors. So now we have Captain Blood in Space, Blackbeard (in his own film), AND Long John to not look forward to seeing. Yar. (That’s a sad yar. You can tell because it’s punctuated with a period instead of a more festively enthusiastic exclamation point.)
Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder
by Edward Chupack
Silver is a fictional autobiography as penned by none other than Long John himself. Starting with his roots as a back-alley thief and working up through common pirate to eventual captain, it traces his entire life in shameless detail. Long John delights in every crime, every murder, every maneuver for advantage against his adversaries and allies alike.
The first thing a reader needs to understand is that this is not the Long John of Treasure Island - Disney or otherwise. Rather, it’s a new perspective of this same character – more sinister, more murderous. Throughout, many important details of this account won’t quite match with John Hawkins’ own famous telling – this is intentional, as the author states his purpose to create a new story inspired by the Long John Silver, rather than a mere prequel limited by the exact characters and events of Treasure Island. This is important to note, because otherwise a reader might go nuts over several apparent discrepancies (Long John’s missing leg, the origins of the treasure, the role of Hawkins, etc.) [read more »]
Robert Newton has his fans, and it’s no wonder. His portrayal of Long John Silver in Disney’s Treasure Island did more to define the role of a “pirate” than any character before or since. True, Jack Sparrow has made a tremendous impact, and may be seen to surpass Long John as the true pirate stereotype in the years to come. But for now, Robert Newton is still the king.
With this in mind, one might expect the television series “The Adventures of Long John Silver” – all six episodes starring Robert Newton in his signature role – to be a true classic gem. And for Newton’s fans, it may well be. Each episode prominently features Newton retackling his interpretation of Silver with every bit of gusto he can muster – and this makes these shows worth watching. But each episode also features dreadfully predictable writing, cliche plot points (Long John saves the orphan’s Christmas??? Crikey!), and many scenes that are downright painful (The not-so-attractive Miss Purity flirting heavily with an even less attractive one-eared pirate is difficult to bear, to say the least.) [read more »]
A surprisingly fun (and even touching) version of Treasure Island that, if not loyal in the strictest sense, manages to stay true to the original spirit of the book. The imagery is very good. At times it’s amazing. John Hawkins, the Doctor, and the Captain are all nicely portrayed. And Long John, you ask? You may hate me for saying this, but in its own weird way I think this is the best version of Long John Silver I’ve ever seen. He’s both endearing yet sinister, believable as a pirate and yet he still manages to show paternal affection for Hawkins. Making him into a cyborg was a very clever, and highly appropriate, touch. Sadly, any genius that went into creating Long John was offset by the dopey lameness of the Ben Gunn android, but such is life.
Not quite bad enough to be a complete mockery, but not terribly good, and the filmmakers made some very strange choices in the creation of this film. Most noteworthy is their departure from any faithfulness to the book by having the officers of the Hispaniola betray Jim, thus forcing him to join the pirates. Now, I’m all for trying new things, but it just felt awfully contrived. The Captain’s character especially may as well have been written by a twelve-year-old, right down to when he grabs Long John’s crutch and throws it out of reach like a playground bully. And rewriting the beginning to attribute Long John’s wooden leg, Pew’s blindness, and Black Dog’s scars all to a single fateful day may have looked good in script, but struck me as dopey. [read more »]
It’s a shame this is so hard to find because it’s clearly the most accurate, and I believe the best, version of Treasure Island out there. The script is very loyal to the book and the actors do an incredible job. This holds particularly true for Christian Bale, who plays Jim Hawkins. As anyone who’s seen a movie where kids outwit adults knows, it’s a terribly awkward thing to portray with any amount of believability. But Christian pulls it off with great finesse – Watching him it’s easy to picture this boy growing up to be an admiral some day. Charlton Heston as Long John Silver, however, was somewhat disappointing. He just seemed wooden to me. But then again, I can’t really picture Heston ever being anything but.
Heston’s lackluster performance aside, it’s a fantastic movie, and definitely my favorite interpretation of a fantastic book.
I must confess that I never saw this movie as a kid. Or if I did, I don’t remember it. As such I’ve no sense of nostalgia or childhood fondness attached to it. If you do, that’s fine – we love what we love, and we don’t need to justify it. But having seen it for the first time as an adult, I just don’t think it was all that great. Jim Hawkins was much too young to believably outsmart everyone, and his pudgy baby-face only made it all the more silly to watch. Long John was a giant, one-legged grease ball, more goofy than anything else. And the pirates, with their peculiar jaunt and super curly hairstyles, were just plain silly. I suppose the story was more-or-less loyal to the book, but it all had that dated and muted feel that is so common amongst older Disney movies.
In a word, “eh.”