powered by AFI
Princeton graduate Bill Martin owns "Morgan's Island," a deserted rock off the coast of Florida. One day, while walking near the docks, peg-legged sea dog Tobias Clump is knocked into the sea by an unknown "phantom," who steals half of his treasure map. Tobias is rescued by Bill and his stuttering friend, "Stuff" Oliver, and tells them the map is to famed pirate Sir Henry Morgan's twenty million dollar treasure, which is supposedly on Bill's island. Thinking that the phantom is on board his ship, Bill mistakenly attacks his wealthy cousin George. George offers to buy Morgan's Island from Bill for $20,000, but he refuses. Bill then takes the map to cartographer Jasper Quinley, who tells them that the map is a brilliant forgery. Bill then gets the idea to make money with a "treasure hunt" cruise, charging tourists for fifty dollars per head. On their way to plant some "treasure" on the island, Bill and Stuff get into an automobile accident with socialite Wendy Creighton and her sleepy escort, Thurman Coldwater. Instead of paying the damages to her car, Bill convinces Wendy to go on the treasure cruise to his island. George also agrees to the trip, and they are joined by Jasper, gangster-on-the-lam Rod Grady and his moll wife Arleen. When inept private detective McGoon attempts to close down the cruise for "false advertising," Bill convinces him to check out the trip himself for the "discount price" of seventy-five dollars. Just before the ship leaves, a bomb is placed on board, but it explodes after being accidentally dropped into the sea. On the way to the island, the ship becomes lost when a magnet is discovered attached to the compass. After six hours, they finally arrive at Morgan's Island. The group goes into the abandoned castle, where Tobias is almost killed by a crossbow and Wendy is saved from a falling suit of armor by Bill, who mistakenly believes the events are part of Stuff's planned "haunting" of the castle. Tobias' phantom warns Wendy to leave the castle, saying that death awaits those who dare stay. Wendy does not take the warnings seriously until the phantom enters her bedroom. As Bill searches for the culprit, he sees Jasper sleepwalking in the halls. In checking the customers' rooms, Bill finds only Tobias missing. Rod and Arleen try to sneak out of the castle, only to find that their boat has disappeared. Rod is murdered at the dock by "a man in a cape," and while McGoon thinks Arleen is the killer, Bill and Stuff suspect Tobias, as a peg-leg print is found near Rod's body. George comes to Arleen's defense, reminding McGoon that there is a substantial reward for Rod, "dead or alive." Tobias then resurfaces and tells them that he has found a key to Morgan's treasure in a medieval torture chamber. After they find only a single gold coin in the chamber, they return to the main room, where they find a note reading "9 left." The crossbow fires once again at Tobias, but it kills the phantom, who turns out to be Panama Pete, an old shipmate of Tobias. When the group then finds the other half of the treasure map on Pete's body, as well as a fake peg-leg, Bill announces that the murder mystery is solved. Bill, Stuff and Tobias go off to find the treasure, leaving George and Wendy to discover the sign changed to "8 left." While George searches for the killer, Wendy is abducted by an unknown assailant. The group then comes across a murdered George inside a collapsed suit of armor. Bill realizes that Jasper is the murderer, as "sleepwalkers don't put on slippers." He is captured, however, by Jasper when he confronts the killer with Rod's unloaded gun. Bill escapes, only to be trapped inside a hidden passageway with Stuff and Wendy. They are rescued by Tobias, but are soon captured once more by mad Jasper. As the surveyor opens the final passageway to the treasure, however, he is killed by a falling ax. The group then opens Morgan's treasure chest, but finds only an old skeleton inside. Disappointed, they hear gunshots and are soon confronted by a government agent, who offers to buy the island for a naval base. With all the mysteries solved, the sleepy Thurman finally awakes, only to learn that he has lost Wendy, and her $7,000,000, to Bill.