It’s pretty dangerous to put an old classic as popular as this Robert Louis Stevenson yarn on the screen. It is hard to imagine anyone else in the Long John Silver role than Wallace Beery. It is hard to think of anyone who might have replaced Jackie Cooper as Jim Hawkins. Yet neither of the two completely convinces.
Best performance honors are really split between Lionel Barrymore and Chic Sale. Former, as Billy Bones, and latter as Ben Gunn, seem most thoroughly to have caught the Stevenson spirit. They overact almost to mugging but it’s in keeping with the manner of the story.
Treasure Island as a story is a grand, blood-curdling adventure yarn. In portions where it is so played it’s genuinely thrilling and good entertainment.