I’ve always had a fascination towards pirates. Ever since I can remember I have been enamoured with the history and mythology of pirates. There are a number of pirate movies (that is, movies about bucaneers, not to be confused with pirated movies) that are in constant rotation in my video player. One of my favourites is Disney’s Treasure Island, starring Bobby Driscoll and Robert Newton. This film was in released in 1950, but has stood the test of time quite well. In fact, while watching it, one can’t help but recognize that some of Newton’s Long John Silver mannerisms played an important part in Johnny Depp’s later characterization of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Having recently taken up the pipe, I’m always on the look-out for pipe references in literature and film. Treasure Island has two great pipe scenes which showcase, what I believe to be, historically accurate clay pipes. I’ve not read Robert Louis Stevenson’s original book (it’s on my list), so I can’t say if the pipes portrayed in the film are due to Stevenson’s genius or the producers. Either way, the pipes make a fun movie even more enjoyable.
Some stills from the movie are shared below.