Author Topic: Ken Russels Treasure Island  (Read 1049 times)

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Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 10:42:20 PM »
There are 2 reasons to remember a Ken Russell film.
1st It was good.
2nd It was bad.

Unforunately, Ken Russell's Treasure island falls under the 2nd reason.

For completists only.

Next time: the mystery of dr. martinu

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 06:59:00 PM »
What does not work. What works.

What does not work.
1. The comedy
Unlike his Lair of the White Worm, where what is not suppose to be funny is funny. Here what is suppose to be funny is not funny.

2. Jim in blackface.
That has become so controversial, I am surprised Ken included in this film, especially (IMHO) it has so little effect. Of course, this is 2019, and this film was made in 1995 or some 2 decades earlier.

3. The songs.
Of course, we can't really blame Ken for those, as he did not write them, but if you want to hear something far more effective, then listen to "Sailing for Adventure" and "Cabin Fever," especially "Cabin Fever," in "Muppet's Treasure Island."

What does work.
1. Actually, I don't think anything in the film works that well, especially in comparison to the other films made by Ken.

Next time: conclusion

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 11:18:33 PM »
I agree on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, a great book with so many memorable scenes- the old pirate at the Admiral Benbow Inn, the black spot, Long John Silver as the friendly cook, the boy hiding with the apples etc etc.

I like his other novels as well, Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (it would be great to read it not knowing the story in advance), and the Scots dialect novels Kidnapped and Catriona.

A lot of the Treasure Island films are pretty boring, I can't remember which ones I have seen.  I did note that Oliver Reed is in one, playing Billy Bones.

No wonder, I don't remember Oliver Reed, as he appeared in the version with Charlton Heston as Silver. I think one of the few film versions I have never seen. It might be worthwhile for me to see if I can find it and watch it, as it also stars Christian Bale as Jim, Christopher Lee as Pew, Richard Johnson as the squire, Julian Glover as the doctor, and Peter Postlethwaite as Merry.

This is not the only time that Charlton Heston and Oliver Reed appeared in the same film. Though, this time, not knowing about Treasure Island, they had no scenes together. They both appeared in 1977's Crossed Swords or the film title for Mark Twain's Prince and the Pauper. Oliver Reed as the hero Miles Hendon and Charlton Heston as Henry VIII.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 11:12:17 PM »
Not in the book
1. Long Jane Silver

2. The doctor as the magistrate, whereas, in the book, it is the squire who is the magistrate.

3. Blind Pew's death
Film: blown up by dynamite
Book: trampled by a horse
Which would you choose?

What is in the book.
For all that is in the film and is not in the book, there are several things that are in both the book and the film. For example: Ben Gunn's fancying cheese.

Next time: what does not work. what does work.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2019, 09:07:10 PM »
Typical Ken and untypical Ken

Typical
1. Russell as the film's narrator.
2. Georgina Hale as Mrs. Hawkins. Ken likes to use the same actors he used in his previous films.

Atypical
1. Blind Pew is played by a black actor. You don't find many black actors in Ken's films.
2. Poncy. The gay pirate. The stereotypical gay pirate. While non-heterosexual characters are often portrayed in Ken's films. Seldom are they played as stereotypes, as they are here.

Next time: not in the book and in the book

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2019, 09:00:50 PM »
I agree on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, a great book with so many memorable scenes- the old pirate at the Admiral Benbow Inn, the black spot, Long John Silver as the friendly cook, the boy hiding with the apples etc etc.

I like his other novels as well, Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (it would be great to read it not knowing the story in advance), and the Scots dialect novels Kidnapped and Catriona.

A lot of the Treasure Island films are pretty boring, I can't remember which ones I have seen.  I did note that Oliver Reed is in one, playing Billy Bones.

No wonder, I don't remember Oliver Reed, as he appeared in the version with Charlton Heston as Silver. I think one of the few film versions I have never seen. It might be worthwhile for me to see if I can find it and watch it, as it also stars Christian Bale as Jim, Christopher Lee as Pew, Richard Johnson as the squire, Julian Glover as the doctor, and Peter Postlethwaite as Merry.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2019, 11:31:50 PM »
I agree on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, a great book with so many memorable scenes- the old pirate at the Admiral Benbow Inn, the black spot, Long John Silver as the friendly cook, the boy hiding with the apples etc etc.

I like his other novels as well, Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (it would be great to read it not knowing the story in advance), and the Scots dialect novels Kidnapped and Catriona.

A lot of the Treasure Island films are pretty boring, I can't remember which ones I have seen.  I did note that Oliver Reed is in one, playing Billy Bones.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 10:11:39 PM »
Realism and anachronisms

While Ken's biographical and historical films, such as . . .
Prisoner of Honor -- Gothic -- Valentino -- Lisztomania -- Mahler -- Savage Messiah -- The Devils -- and The Music Lover . . .
have their moments of reality, and . . .

The Boyfriend
. . .which is somewhat exaggerated, is still a fairly realistic look at what goes on on stage and behind the scenes, and while . . .

Lair of the White Worm
. . . is even more exaggerated, there are moments of reality in it. Unlike . . .

Ken Russell's Treasure Island
. . . which is filled with anachronisms. If we date the story in the film from 1765, which the film does.

Anachronisms
cola -- dynamite -- a rifle that fires multiple times without reloading -- slot machines -- stethoscopes -- t-shirts
. . . are all products of the 19th century. And while the . . .
whistle
. . . dates back to the time of the Ancient Greeks, the metal one in the film, again dates back to the 19th century.

Not anachronisms
There are something things seen in the film that may seem like an anachronism, but may not be,  such as . . .
bingo, 16th century Italy -- the cuckoo clock, 18th century Germany --
and while the use of tobacco in Europe dates to the 16th century, the cigar in Europe dates to the middle of the 18th century, so it may or may not be an anachronism.

Next time: typical and atypical Ken

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 05:02:32 PM »
Introduction

Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island," which I hold is one of the greatest sea stories ever written, and one of the few books I can read over and over again.

And one of the most filmed books ever written. With . . .
Wallace Beery as Long John Silver. Seen
Robert Newton as Long John Silver. Seen
Orson Welles as Long John Silver. Seen
Charlton Heston as Long John Silver. Unseen
Jack Palance as Long John Silver. Seen

The last is a version I dislike, because it turned Long John Silver from the villain in the story to the hero of the story.

And then there are the variations of the story.
the western Scalawag with Kirk Douglas as the Long John Silver type of character
the animated Treasure Planet with Brian Murray voicing the Long John Silver type of character
and Muppets Treasure Island with Tim Curry as Long John Silver. More on this later.

Next time: realism and anachronisms

Offline Rosebud

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2018, 09:47:15 PM »
I totally agree.  Definitely not one of Ken's defining moments.  The film has the production values of one of those strange straight to VHS 1990's Christian films.  Still, I like the DIY feel of the piece and overall the film is quite entertaining.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 09:50:15 PM »
A while since I saw this.  Not Ken's best effort, I can't remember much of the film, but it will be worth watching again.

Offline Rosebud

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Ken Russels Treasure Island
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 06:55:44 PM »