Cast & Crew
E. A. Dupont
In the 1700s, pirate Captain Flint returns to Treasure Island to bury more loot. After killing Long John Silver, whom he had marooned there, as well as his own seamen, Flint leaves the island with a map containing information about where he has buried the treasure. Two hundred years later, in England, Jamesina "Jamie" Hawkins, a direct descendant of Jim Hawkins, the young hero of the Treasure Island adventure, runs the Admiral Ben Bow Inn as a historic monument. Two competing thieves who attempt to steal Flint's map, which is on display there, become involved in a fight and are chased off. Later, one of the men returns and introduces himself as Clive Stone, an American writer noted for his research on pirate legends. Stone thinks that Flint's treasure can be located from clues in the map and marginalia in Flint's Bible. The other would-be thief, who is working for a blind man, returns at night to attempt to steal the map, but is surprised by Willie the caretaker, whom he kills. Determined to avenge Willie's death, Jamie agrees to work with Stone on the condition that she go with him. They fly to Los Angeles and leave from San Pedro on a chartered sailing ship for points south. On board, Jamie overhears three members of the crew plotting to take over the expedition from its skipper, Captain Cardigan, and informs Stone, who tells her that he will handle the situation. However, as they approach Treasure Island, Stone, who is actually Maximillian Harris, a former assistant professor of archaelogy, takes over the ship with the help of the three sailors, but cannot find the map. Meanwhile, on the island, the real Clive Stone, who was marooned there by Harris on a previous expedition almost a year before, is surprised by the arrival of two ships, Jamie's and a power driven boat containing the rival gang of thieves, led by the blind man, Felix Newman. While his rivals go ashore, Harris dynamites their ship and sinks it. When Jamie and Cardigan manage to escape from Harris, Cardigan is wounded and Jamie is recaptured by Newman's men. However, Clive is able to rescue both of them and explains how he happens to be on the island. He also reveals that Newman was on the earlier expedition as well. Jamie swims back to the ship and recovers the map from its hiding place and, while drying it over a fire, sees words materialize on it. Meanwhile, Harris is captured by Newman, whose blindness he accidentally caused. When Newman and his men attack Clive's camp, demanding the map, Cardigan is killed and Jamie and Clive are taken prisoner. Eventually, a compromise is worked out whereby Jamie and Clive are freed in exchange for the map. Unknown to Newman and his men, Jamie has copied the invisible code words which appeared on the map, and with Clive, she manages to break the code, which involves a series of clues to the treasure's location. Harris and Newman learn of the code's existence and argue about its interpretation. As they search for the treasure, Jamie and Clive create an elaborate booby trap in case they are followed, and although Harris discovers their trick, he allows Newman and his crew to be blown up. When Jamie and Clive eventually find a treasure chest in a cave, Newman and one of his men, who has also survived the explosion, find them and are joined by Harris and two of his men. A gunfight begins, during which Clive throws dynamite, causing a cave-in from which only he, Jamie and Harris survive. Thinking that they may be near the end of their lives, Jamie and Clive declare their love for each other. After Clive finds a cave pool which flows into the ocean and they start to escape, Harris is shot by the dying Newman. Later, Clive and Jamie retrieve the treasure, and with the crewman who had been left on board the ship, set sail for home.
E. A. Dupont
Fred Feitshans Jr.
Return to Treasure Island
Confused? Well, here is some more information to muddy the waters. Return to Treasure Island is, in a sense, a sequel to the R.L. Stevenson classic, albeit a modern-day one. The film begins with a flashback to the 1700s as Captain Flint, Silver's long-ago nemesis, returns to the island, kills Silver, and buries more loot. Flash forward 200 years later, where Jim Hawkins female descendant, Jamesina "Jamie" Hawkins, is lured back to the island to find the treasure by a man claiming to be American writer and pirate expert Clive Stone. Once on the island, however, Jamie runs into the real Clive, who was marooned there by the imposter about a year earlier. He and Jamie must team up to defeat the would-be treasure thieves and claim the booty for their own.
Because Jamie is played by the shapely young British starlet Dawn Addams and the real Clive is portrayed by teen heartthrob Tab Hunter, romance also ensues (Hunter is shirtless throughout the picture, to the delight of his fans, and with a fake beard for part of it, to the delight of no one). In this, his fourth movie and his first top-billed appearance on screen, Hunter took a big leap forward to become one of the most popular matinee idols of the 1950s, although in his autobiography, Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, he offered this assessment: "There are bad movies...then there's Return to Treasure Island."
Hunter was cast in the movie by producer Aubrey Wisberg, who had written the original story for his previous film, The Steel Lady (1953). The daughter of a New York associate of Wisberg's kept harping on him to cast Hunter in his next movie. The young actor was reunited with the director of The Steel Lady, E.A. Dupont, one of the founders of the German film industry whose illustrious career had descended from the acclaimed silent Varieté (aka Jealousy, 1925) to this, his last picture (although he did write the screenplay for two more movies over the next few years). According to Hunter, Dupont declared the adventure "the biggest piece of sh*t I've ever directed in my life' and the star's own mother is credited with bolting from the lobby after the screening declaring her son's performance to be "lousy."
Hunter's opinion aboutReturn to Treasure Island may not be the last word on it; his autobiography, after all, had many negative things to say about Hollywood and some of the movies he made there, certainly understandable coming from someone whose teen idol status was completely manufactured and forced him to hide his homosexuality for much of his life. It certainly didn't hurt his career at all; his next two movies were major productions: William Wellman's Track of the Cat (1954) with Robert Mitchum and Raoul Walsh's war drama Battle Cry (1955).
As for Addams, Hunter saysReturn to Treasure Island prompted her to marry an Italian nobleman and move to Italy, where she continued her career on the big screen and British television until her death at the age of 54 in 1985.
The location shoot for the eponymous island was the California coast at Palos Verdes. Return to Treasure Island was not the first pirate movie for the writer-producer team of Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen. Earlier, they had released Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (1954), with young Eva Gabor of Green Acres TV fame playing opposite Anthony Dexter's infamous pirate.
Director: E.A. Dupont
Producers: Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen
Screenplay: Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen, based on characters created by Robert Louis Stevenson
Cinematography: William Bradford
Editing: Fred R. Feitshans, Jr.
Original Music: Paul Sawtell
Cast: Tab Hunter (Clive Stone), Dawn Addams (Jamie Hawkins), Porter Hall (Maximillian Harris), James Seay (Felix Newman), Harry Lauter (Parker).
by Rob Nixon
Return to Treasure Island
Wisberg and Pollexfen's onscreen credit reads: "Written and Produced by Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen." The first part of the film was very loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island, while the main story involves characters who are purportedly descendents of those in Stevenson's story. Exterior sequences were shot at Palos Verdes, CA. Return to Treasure Island was the last feature film directed by E. A. Dupont (1891-1956), a German-born director and writer whose most famous work was the 1925 silent film Variety.