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A young boy and a pirate clash over buried treasure.
In 1765, young Jim Hawkins lives with his widowed mother in the Admiral Benbow Inn on the west coast of England. Jim is friends with ailing pirate Capt. Billy Bones and is alarmed when sinister strangers Black Dog and Blind Pew threaten Bones. Knowing that his former shipmates are coming after him, Bones cautions Jim about a one-legged man and gives him the treasure map he stole from notorious pirate Flint. When Jim goes for help and returns with Dr. Livesy and Squire Trelawney, they chase away some men searching the tavern, then discover that Bones is dead. Jim shows the map to his friends, and the thrilled Trelawney plans a sea voyage to search for the treasure. In Bristol, Trelawny hires Captain Smollett to sail their ship, the Hispaniola , but unwittingly endangers the mission by hiring Long John Silver, a seemingly honest sailor, as the ship's cook. The grizzled veteran is actually the one-legged pirate of whom Bones was afraid, and Jim is upset when he meets Silver. Impatient with Smollett's hiring methods, Trelawny allows Silver to hire his own friends and the voyage commences. Suspicious, Smollett keeps the guns locked away, but the charming Silver wins Jim's confidence. Silver begins his scheme to commandeer the ship by getting first mate Mr. Arrow drunk and tossing him overboard during a storm, and later, Jim overhears the mutineers discussing their plans. After he hears Silver, who was Flint's quartermaster, urge his men to wait until Smollett has set the course, Jim warns the captain. Smollett asks Jim to remain friends with Silver to be privy to his plans, and Jim reluctantly agrees. When the ship reaches Flint's island, Silver and some of his men, accompanied by Jim, board a longboat to go ashore. The mutiny is begun prematurely by Silver's confederate, George Merry, but the mutineers aboard the Hispaniola are captured by the captain's men. Silver demands the map in exchange for Jim, but the resourceful youngster escapes. On the island, Jim meets Ben Gunn, a crazed castaway who was marooned by Silver during Flint's voyage to the island five years previously. After locking the mutineers in the hold, Smollett goes ashore with some men to rescue Jim. The men occupy an old stockade, but during their absence, Silver's pirates capture the Hispaniola and Silver takes over as captain. Jim, who has been led to the stockade by Ben, watches as Silver comes to the stronghold and promises to send help eventually if Smollett turns over the treasure map. Smollett refuses, and a bloody gunfight begins. Silver shoots and wounds Smollett, and that night, a worried Livesy gives Jim the map and orders him to buy his life with it if necessary. Hearing Smollett state that they must beach the Hispaniola , Jim uses Ben's small boat to row up to the large ship. Pirate Israel Hands spots Jim, however, and chases the terrified boy up the rigging, then stabs him in the shoulder. Jim shoots Hands with his pistol and the pirate falls to his death in the water below. Jim then runs the Hispaniola aground and returns to the stockade, but there finds Silver, who takes the map when the boy faints from terror. Silver refuses to allow Merry to kill Jim, insisting that they need the boy as a hostage, although he does not reveal to his conspirators that he has the map. Worried about Jim's injury, Silver tries to summon Livesy, but the other pirates, suspicious of Silver's motives, vote to depose him. Silver refuses to step down and instead allows Livesy to tend to Jim. Silver, who thinks that Smollett's men have regained the Hispaniola , vows to protect Jim in exchange for being spared from the gallows upon their return to England. Livesy promises to help Silver, and Jim stays with him as Silver turns over the map to his pirates. The pirates then locate Flint's chest, but suspect that Silver has double-crossed them when they find only one coin. Livesy and his men arrive while the pirates are fighting and succeed in taking control. They then learn that Ben had dug up Flint's gold and taken it to his cave, and there Jim pleads with Smollett to spare Silver's life. Smollett agrees to return the pirate to England for trial, but when they row to the Hispaniola with the gold, Silver gets Jim's pistol and makes all but Jim jump off the longboat. Crushed, Jim steers them aground and will not shove off even though Silver threatens to shoot him. The old pirate, who genuinely cares for the boy, cannot shoot him, however, and tries in vain to free the boat as the crew approaches. Realizing that Silver is indeed his friend, Jim pushes the boat off and helps the pirate to escape, then watches as Silver sails away.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||G||Premiere Info:||London opening: 22 Jun 1950|
|Release Date:||1950||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Recording)||Production Co:||RKO Walt Disney British Productions, Ltd.|
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