I teach English and use a lot of DVDs to help show the world of a book to young people. Yes, the scriptwriters have taken enormous liberties with the plot in order to create drama and pace, and increase the tension: Robinson kills a friend in a duel and has a woman waiting for him, and the battles with the cannibals are given pace and direction. But it is an 18th Century novel which are in the main often loose baggy monsters, written largely as the author went along -Tristram Shandy springs to mind or even early Dickens-and the plot has benefitted from this treatment in many ways, certainly for contemporary audiences. If I were pretentious I would mention that Wilkie Collins did the same for Dickens, when they discussed Dickens' plots or the absence of them.
Notwithstanding Pierce's odd Scottish accent, this film recreates the world of Robinson Crusoe in its attention to detail of stage coaches, ships at sea, costume and the sword fights are impressively choreographed. It is also exciting for boys and my classes love it.Robinson Crusoe (Penguin Classics)