Return to Treasure Island (1954)

Article #1260 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-26-2004
Posting Date: 1-23-2005
Directed by Ewald Andre Dupont
Featuring Tab Hunter, Dawn Addams, Porter Hall

A woman who is the descendant of Jim Hawkins joins a team of people to return to Treasure Island and find the treasure.

Story time, folks.

When this movie popped up on my list, I took one look at the title, and found myself wondering what kind of fantastic elements would pop up in what sounded for all the world like a pirate movie. A few days later, I was browsing the DVDs in my local Borders, and I came across a disc title “Legendary Pirate Movies”. One of the movies was called LONG JOHN SILVER’S RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND. This must be it, I thought.

Several days later, I sat down to watch the movie. After I was a good three-quarters a way through the movie without anything remotely fantastic popping up, I took a second to look at the source that listed the movie. To my surprise, I saw cast members listed that were not to be seen in the movie I was watching. I hopped on IMDB and did a little research. Sure enough, LONG JOHN SILVER’S RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND and RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND were two distinct movies, despite having been made in the same year.

“Well, that explains the lack of fantastic elements, ” I thought, and promptly moved on to another movie on my list.

So here I am several months later. I’ve snagged a copy of the actual movie in question, and sit back, waiting for the fantastic elements to manifest themselves. And once again, I find myself left high and dry. The closest this movie comes to having any fantastic elements are the existence of three decidedly un-animated and very dead skeletons, and a few plot points borrowed from Poe’s “The Gold Bug”. Sure, it’s a Poe story, but it’s not one of his horror stories. As far as I’m concerned, the movie doesn’t qualify.

In fact, in all respects I was better off with the other movie. At least that one a grand over-the-top performance by Robert Newton to hold your interest. This one is fairly lifeless. It’s not a total washout, but there are far too many scenes of people just sitting around talking, and they aren’t directed with much energy. Furthermore, the movie is narrated by and stars Tab Hunter, of which I can only make the following two comments. 1) He’s not much of an actor, and 2) he’s a better actor than a narrator.

Sorry, folks. Another false alarm. And unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last one.


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