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In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day
Bar Harbor
teenybuffalo, kestrell, and I are going to watch my favorite version of Treasure Island. It's relatively obscure, having originally been a 1990 TV movie, but is a truly excellent film, and more faithful to the book than any other adaptation I've seen.

Charlton Heston does a brilliant job as Long John Silver, the original archetypal pirate that everyone else talks like on this day. He's got the sincerity and conviction to deliver those oft-heard lines without sounding like he's reciting cliches, and he also pulls off the difficult character mix of charisma and villainy.

Also notable in the cast are Oliver Reed as Billy Bones, Christopher Lee in a brief-but-memorable turn as Blind Pew, and an extremely young Christian Bale as Jim Hawkins. The rest of the cast may not be quite as awesome as these, but nobody does a bad job. The soundtrack is by The Chieftains, and adds well to the atmosphere.

Very Highly Recommended.

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I've never seen it! What a classy made-for-TV production.

This is the only movie version I have viewed which captures the pacing of Stevenson's book, in which each chapter ends with a cliffhanger. There is also a sense of the psycholgy of Long John Silver, and that his attitude toward Jim is in part LJS's recognition that Jim is perhaps the boy LJS could have been before he made bad choices. LJS also has this gesture he makes whenever he mentions hanging, where he tugs on the kerchief tied around his neck, as if it is too tight. Seemingly slight but significant characterization.

I love that version of Treasure Island!

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