It's a curious irony that a producer as fond of adapting novels in the public domain as Harry Alan Towers should let so many of his films fall into the public domain himself. So it is with his 1972 Anglo-Spanish-Italian co-pro version of Treasure Island, one of his many collaborations with the perennially cash-strapped Orson Welles. The great man may have co-written the script under the pseudonym O.W. Jeeves (alongside five others), but he didn't hang around for the dubbing, which means we see him as Long John Silver but hear Bond villain revoicer par excellence Robert Rietty delivering his dialogue. Still, some of it is good dialogue and, while not attempting an impersonation, Rietty does at least get the style, cadence and intonation of Welles so it's not quite as big a handicap as it might seem at first. Not that he's the only one dubbed - half the multi-national cast are flying (or talking) under false colors, as is the Spanish port that doubles unconvincingly for Bristol Harbor. The film itself isn't an eye patch on the 1934 Wallace Beery-Jackie Cooper version or even the hard-to-find but surprisingly good 1990 Charlton Heston-Christian Bale TV movie, but it's efficient enough time filler without ever hitting the highs, and the early scenes at the Admiral Benbow Inn are fairly atmospheric. Natale Massara's score sounds suspiciously like Roy Budd's impressive work on the previous year's Kidnapped - something that probably was not a coincidence, though since Budd wasn't averse to `borrowing' himself, it's not quite such a brazen act of musical piracy as it may at first seem.
Be warned that the DVDs of this title are all variable in quality, from acceptable to pretty awful.