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Treasure Island
Treasure Island (1965)
  • Director:
    Orson Welles
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Robert Louis Stevenson,Orson Welles
  • Cast:
    Orson Welles,Keith Baxter,McIntosh Fergusin
  • Year:
Orson Welles' unfinished adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island.
Cast overview:
Orson Welles Orson Welles - Long John Silver
Keith Baxter Keith Baxter - Doctor Livesey
McIntosh Fergusin McIntosh Fergusin - Jim Hawkins
Tony Beckley Tony Beckley - Israel Hands
John Gielgud John Gielgud - Squire Trelawney
Robert Morley Robert Morley
Fernando Rey Fernando Rey
Hugh Griffith Hugh Griffith

Treasure Island (1965)

The film had its origins in Orson Welles' attempts to film his Shakespearean play Campanadas a medianoche (1965) in the early 1960s - a project he had worked on since the late 1930s. After Welles had failed to convince numerous producers to finance his film, he tried an alternative approach: he wrote a screenplay for the more commercially appealing Treasure Island, and promised to make both films, back to back, filmed on the same sets and with the same cast, for barely more than the cost of one film. As well as having written the script, he proposed to direct Treasure Island (1965) and play Long John Silver. This approach worked; Spanish producer Emiliano Piedra agreed to finance both films, and color filming on Treasure Island by Welles actually began in 1964 (while Chimes at Midnight was simultaneously shot in black and white). However, Piedra's interest in Chimes at Midnight was minimal, and when Welles felt he was being given inadequate resources for the Chimes shoot, he began appropriating resources from Treasure Island to be able to complete the more cherished project. Treasure Island was thus effectively abandoned after a few days of filming. However, Welles remained contractually tied to the project as both actor and writer, and eventually, eight years later, he was brought in to make the film Treasure Island (1972) for the director John Hough. Once again, it was filmed entirely on location in Spain, with a Spanish crew. Welles was sufficiently dismissive of the rewrites to his original script that he asked not to be credited, taking the pseudonym "O.W. Jeeves".

Although in the 1960s Orson Welles had much enthusiasm for making a version of Treasure Island, he apparently thought little of the eventual 1972 production Treasure Island (1972). In a 1979 interview Welles claimed his voice in the film was redubbed by another actor. In some versions he was dubbed by Robert Rietty.