Reviewed by JONATHAN LEWIS:         

TREASURE ISLAND. National General Pictures, US, 1972. Filmed in Spain with a Spanish crew. Orson Welles, Kim Burfield, Lionel Stander, Walter Slezak, Ángel del Pozo, Rik Battaglia. Directors: Andrea Bianchi (as Andrew White), John Hough (English language version), Antonio Margheriti.

   I had somewhat high hopes for Treasure Island, but I probably should have known better. It’s probably one of Orson Welles’ least known films and it’s most certainty that way for a reason. Produced by Harry Alan Towers, this somewhat genial, but ultimately unsatisfying adventure yarn based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel features the legendary Welles as Long John Silver.

   Welles, whose pirate voice may or may not have been dubbed by another actor, grunts and slurs his way through this plodding affair. Even Walter Slezak, who ordinarily is a standout actor, falls somewhat flat – pun intended, if you’ve seen the movie – as Squire Trelawney.

   Young actor Kim Burfield, who portrays Jim Hawkins, is somewhat more of a presence, portraying the narrator/protagonist with wide- eyed charm and glee. Jim’s sense of wonder and excitement is, at the end of the day, what propels this somewhat tired affair. But to no avail. Overall, the movie leaves the viewer with the distinct impression that at another time, with another director, Welles really could have thrived and shined as the legendary fictional pirate cook.