Thursday, January 31, 2013

Period Drama Challenge - January Recap & Tag Questions {Edited}

Old-Fashioned Charm

As the part of the Period Drama Challenge at the end of each month I'll be posting a list of the participants, reviews for that month and give you some tag questions to answer.  

So far there have been 50 comments on the Period Drama Challenge post. 19 people have said they will be participating in the challenge. Of those participants links to 27 film reviews have been left in the comments.

If you haven't left the links to your period drama film reviews on the original post go and do it now or comment here! :)

And if you haven't entered the Period Drama Challenge there's still plenty of time to do so!

19 Participants:
Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm - 12-15 Films
Rebekah of Rhoswen Faerie Wrose  - 15-20 Films
birdienl of Journal of a Dutch 20-Something - 8-10 Films
Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Elegance of Fashion - 12-15 Films
Melody of Regency Delight
Jazzie of Clothes of the Past - 12-15 Films
Hamlette of Hamlette's Soliloquy - 10 Films
BatZion of FHG Creations - 8 Films
Crafts4others - 12-15 Films
BanrĂ­on An Gheimhridh of My Period Drama Obsession - 8 Films
Hayden of The Story Girl - 8 Films
Risa of Breadcrumb Reads - 5 Films
Miss Dashwood of Yet Another Period Drama Blog - 10 Films
Stephanie of Eccentricitee - 12-15 Films
Xenia of Collar City Brownstone - 10 Films
Beverly Farr - 8 Films
Katie of Pandora's Box - 12-15 Films
phylly3 of Phylly's Faves - 8 Films
Maddie Rose of The Madd Rose - 10 Films

27 Reviews:
Sense & Sensibility (2008) by Stephanie of Eccentricitee
Les MisĂ©rables (2012) by Jazzie of Clothes of the Past
The Young Victoria (2009) by Jazzie of Clothes of the Past
Horatio Hornblower: The Even Chance by BatZion of FHG Creations
Horatio Hornblower: The Examination For Lieutenant by BatZion of FHG Creations
North and South (2004) by BatZion of FHG Creations
Treasure Island (2012) by Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm
To Have and Have Not (1944) by Hamlette of Hamlette's Soliloquy
Rebecca (1979) by Hamlette of Hamlette's Soliloquy
Pride and Prejudice (1995) by Katie of Pandora Box
Sense and Sensibility (1995) by Maddie Rose of The Madd Rose
A Lady For A Day (1933) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
Arch de Triumph (1948) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
Becket (1964) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
Brief Encounter (1945) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
The Agony and The Ecstasy (1965) of Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
Romeo and Juliet (1968) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
About Mrs. Leslie (1954) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
The Bells of Saint Mary's (1945) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
The Robe (1953) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945) by Xenia of Collar City Brownstone (Her 10th film!)

Becoming Jane (2005) by Hayden of The Story Girl
Miss Austen Regrets (2008) by Hayden of The Story Girl
Mansfield Park (1999) by Hayden of The Story Girl
Mansfield Park (2007) by Hayden of The Story Girl
Northanger Abbey (2007)  by Hayden of The Story Girl
The Paradise (2012) by birdienl of Journal of a Dutch 20-Something

Period Drama Tag Questions:
(Answer here in the comments or on your blog)
1. What period dramas have you watched in January?
2. Do you prefer period dramas peppered with humor or laced with dark emotions?
3. What was the first period drama miniseries (two episodes or longer) that you ever watched?
4. How many Jane Austen adaptations have you seen?
5. What period drama, that you haven't seen before, are you most looking forward to seeing in the future?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Competition Winner and My Prizes

Not too long ago I posted about the Period Drama Trivia Competition BatZion was hosting at FHG Designs. Well, I entered the competition just for fun, never dreaming that I would win the grand prize!
BatZion made this lovely prize button for me which I've been proudly displaying on my blog. 
She also let me choose nine wallet size Period Drama Posters from. I was so excited when they arrived and asked BatZion if she'd let me post photos of them as I know all of you will enjoy these too! :)
These Period Drama Posters are just adorable! Well made, in pretty colors, laminated, each is a Keep Calm type saying from a different period drama. I had such fun choosing nine posters for my very own!

The Posters:

Sink Me! A poster that will make any member of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel just melt! :)

Couldn't resist this delightful Return to Cranford saying!

There were several Pride & Prejudice (1995) sayings but this just struck my funny bone and I love the color!
"Oh my goodness! Everyone behave naturally!" (okay, okay, so that's from P&P 2005 but it's such a fun quote too!)

Advice from Marianne Dashwood in Sense & Sensibility (2008). 
"Can you play something else? Mama has been weeping since breakfast. ... I meant something less mournful dearest."

My sister loved this poster inspired by the Miss Potter movie! So cute! :)

Sounds like good advice to me! And Ever After is a long time favorite movie for me.

This lovely saying comes from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (which unfortunately I don't own on DVD), another long time favorite and the saying is just so much fun!

And I couldn't resist these two posters inspired by Persuasion (2007), especially the Captain Wentworth one! Much thanks to BatZion for getting these ready is a bit of a hurry when I inquired about them. :)
These little posters are just the right size to carry with you in your wallet or pocket for a little bit of period drama inspiration. The also fit nicely in a wallet sized photo frame for displaying in your room, office or on your refrigerator (get a frame with a magnet on the back). 

In short, I love these little posters! They are just the cutest things! 

Take a look at the whole line of Period Drama Posters at FHG Creations! BatZion has multiple posters from ten Period Dramas and will very soon have posters inspired by North & South (2004)! 
Thank you BatZion for hosting the competition and for my lovely prizes! 

Which is your favorite Period Drama poster?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ladies of Period Dramas Eye Quiz

It's been quite awhile since I posted a video game so here is one that's all about the eyes of our favorite ladies from Period Dramas! These ladies aren't just heroines but should be fairly easy to recognize.

To Play: Look at the 60 photos of eyes of ladies from period dramas in the video below. Leave a comment guessing which Character, Actress and Period Drama each pair of eyes comes from. For Bonus Points guess which period the song that plays on the video comes from (Hint: None of the actresses from the film are featured in this quiz). I'll respond with your score. Guess as many times as you wish. An answers video will be posted next week.

Scoring: 1 point for each correctly guessed Character, Actress and Period Drama. 20 points for naming what Period Drama the song on the video comes from. A high score of 200 points can be earned.

There are 60 pairs of eyes so feel free to take your time and give your answers in parts if you wish.
Have fun! :)

Bea's Degrees of Separation Puzzles - Answers

These are the answers to Bea's Degrees of Separation Puzzles from last week. My sister Bea enjoyed putting this game together and adding up your scores. Thank you to everyone who played! We're sorry if this game was rather hard but hope it was still fun.

Timothy Spall

Degrees of Separation Puzzle #1:
Actor Timothy Spall was in The King's Speech (as Winston Churchill)
with Colin Firth or Jennifer Ehle (as King George/Bertie or Mrs. Logue) who was in Pride & Prejudice (1995) (as Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet)
with Julia Sawalha (as Lydia Bennet) who was in Lark Rise to Candleford (as Dorcas Lane)
with Linda Bassett or Claire Skinner or Hattie Morahan (as Queenie Turrill or Mrs. Macey or Enid Fairley) who was in Sense & Sensibility (2008) (as Mrs. Jennings or Fanny Dashwood or Elinor Dashwood)
with Dan Stevens (as Edward Ferrars) who was in Downton Abbey (as Matthew Crawley)
with Hugh Bonneville (as Lord Robert Crawley Earl of Grantham) who was in Daniel Deronda (as Henleigh Grandcourt)
with Romola Garai or Edward Fox (as Gwendolyn Harleth or Sir Hugo Mallinger) who was in Nicholas Nickleby (2002)  (as Kate Nickleby or Sir Mulberry Hawk)
with Timothy Spall (as Charles Cheeryble)!

Bonus Question 1: Can you name two other Charles Dickens adaptations Timothy Spall has starred in?
Answer: Oliver Twist (2007) as Fagin and Our Mutual Friend as Mr. Venus

Lucy Boynton
Degrees of Separation Puzzle #2:
Actress Lucy Boynton was in Ballet Shoes (as Posy Fossil)
with Emilia Fox (as Sylvia Brown) who was in David Copperfield (1999) (as Clara Copperfield)

with Harry Lloyd (as Young Steerforth) who was in Great Expectations (2011) (as Herbert Pocket)
with Gillian Anderson (as Miss Havisham) who was in Bleak House (as Lady Dedlock)
with Carey Mulligan (as Ada Clare) who was in Pride & Prejudice (2005) (as Kitty Bennet)
with Simon Woods or Judi Dench or Claudie Blakley (as Mr. Bingley or Lady Catherine de Bourgh or Charlotte Lucas) who was in Cranford (as Dr. Frank Harrison or Miss Matty Jenkins or Martha)
with Barbara Flynn (as Mrs. Jamieson) who was in Miss Potter (as Helen Potter)
with Lucy Boynton (as Young Beatrix Potter)!

Bonus Question 2: Can you name one other period drama Lucy Boynton has starred in?
Answer: Sense & Sensibility 2008 as Margaret Dashwood

Players Scores:

birdienl - 67 points
Melody - 67 points
Laura - 53 points
Miss Dashwood - 43 points
Mary Beth - 36 points

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Congratulations From Miss Darcy

Miss Dashwood and Miss Marianne Dashwood (aka Amy & Melody) at The P&P95 Forever Club are hosting a Congratulations Contest this week in honor of the 200th Anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The challenge of the contest is to write a letter of congratulations to Jane Austen on the publication of Pride and Prejudice but write it as if you were a character from them Pride & Prejudice (1995) film. 

Words from Miss Georgiana Darcy popped into my hear and such a fun little challenge that I couldn't resist! 

P&P was published January 28th, 1813 in three volumes.

Pemberley, February 1813

My Dear Miss Austen,
My very kind brother came back from London this afternoon, where he had business, and has just this moment made me and Elizabeth a very pretty present of your latest novel. The three volumes are themselves very elegantly made and present a most tempting sight indeed. My sister and I are very much looking forward to reading Pride and Prejudice in it's entirety. We must thank you again for allowing us to read a few chapters when we met you in town this past summer. How Elizabeth laughed at the chapters concerning Mr. Collins, particularly the proposal he made her!  I confess to a good deal of curiosity to read how you have described my own self. Elizabeth assures me that you could have nothing but the highest praise for me, I am not so assured but trust to your capable hands.
I must draw this letter to a close as my sister and brother are quite anxious to beginning reading and we have promised to read it aloud to one another. We three send our warmest congratulations on the publication of your "dear child" and pray that Pride and Prejudice will prove as much of a success as you could yourself wish.

Kindest Regards,
Miss Georgiana Darcy

You can enter your own letter at The P&P95 Forever Club before Friday, January 25th.

Thank you Miss Dashwood and Miss Marianne for this delightful challenge! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Comparing Mr. Collins at Elegance of Fashion

200 Years of Pride and Prejudice at Elegance of Fashion

Miss Elizabeth Bennet invited me to guest post for her 200 Years of Pride and Prejudice event going on this week (January 21st - 28th).  Of all the interesting characters in Pride and Prejudice I chose to write about Mr. William Collins! 

I set out to answer some of these questions: 
"What is it that makes Mr. William Collins such a universally detested character? Who is he really? Where does he come from and what does he really look like? "

Head over to Elegance of Fashion to read:
Guest Post by Miss Laurie: Comparing Mr. Collins

It was such fun to read up on Mr. Collins and discover new things about this "Odious man" that I had not noticed before. 

And while you're over at Elegance of Fashion reading my guest post and commenting, you might also like to check out the Pride and Prejudice Trivia GamePride and Prejudice Caption Contests and the Poll: Favorite Pride and Prejudice? along with other interesting posts that will be popping up this week!

Thank you Miss Lizzy for hosting this lovely event and for letting me ramble on about Jane Austen at your delightful blog! :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

200 Years Of Pride & Prejudice Event!

200 Years of Pride and Prejudice at Elegance of Fashion
Miss Elizabeth Bennet at Elegance of Fashion is hosting a 200 Years of Pride and Prejudice celebration! It starts on Monday so I encourage you to keep checking back there and keep up with all of the posts for this coming week!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bea's Degrees of Separation Puzzles

The actors and actresses of period dramas bring to life our favorite characters from literature. If you watch many period dramas you'll notice that many of the same actors and actresses show up in popular period films and costume drama miniseries.

This week we have a special treat - two Degrees of Separation Puzzles put together by my sister Bea!  Each puzzle features some fairly well-known actors and period dramas. One puzzle starts and ends with talented Dickensian actor Timothy Spall while the other puzzle starts and ends with brilliant young actress Lucy Boynton.

How to play: Follow the degrees of separation and name the actors whose names are left blank below. Try to guess their names without looking up the info but if you get stuck you might want to use to help. Leave a comment with your guesses. I'll respond with your score. Feel free to guess as many times as you'd like.

For Extra Points: Fill in all of the (as ?) spaces by naming the characters the actors play in each period drama (two characters for each actor). There's also two Bonus Questions to answer below for extra points.

Scoring: Two points for each actor's full name that you guess correctly (24 points). 1 extra point for each of their character names you guess correctly (28 points). Bonus Question answer is worth 5 points. A high score of 67 points is possible.

Timothy Spall

Degrees of Separation Puzzle #1:
Actor Timothy Spall was in The King's Speech (as ?)
with ________ ____ (as ?) who was in Pride & Prejudice (1995) (as ?)
with _____ _______ (as ?) who was in Lark Rise to Candleford (as ?)
with _____ _______ (as ?) who was in Sense & Sensibility (2008) (as ?)
with ___ _______ (as ?) who was in Downton Abbey (as ?)
with ____ __________ (as ?) who was in Daniel Deronda (as ?)
with ______ _____ (as ?) who was in Nicholas Nickleby (2002)  (as ?)
with Timothy Spall (as ?)!

Bonus Question 1: Can you name two other Charles Dickens adaptations Timothy Spall has starred in?

Lucy Boynton
Degrees of Separation Puzzle #2:
Actress Lucy Boynton was in Ballet Shoes (as ?)
with ______ ___ (as ?) who was in David Copperfield (1999) (as?)
with _____ _____ (as ?) who was in Great Expectations (2011) (as ?)
with _______ ________ (as ?) who was in Bleak House (as ?)
with _____ ________ (as ?) who was in Pride & Prejudice (2005) (as ?)
with _____ _____ (as ?) who was in Cranford (as ?)
with _______ _____ (as ?) who was in Miss Potter (as ?)
with Lucy Boynton (as ?) !

Bonus Question 2: Can you name one other period drama Lucy Boynton has starred in?

Have fun guessing! :-)

Adventurous Gentlemen of Period Dramas Game - Answers!

Photo Bonus Question: Which period drama do these dashing soldiers appear in?
Answer: Pride and Prejudice (1995)
These are the answers to the Adventurous Gentlemen of Period Dramas Game from last week. Thanks for playing! Sorry if this game was more difficult for some. I try to vary the games and got rather carried away this time.

Jane Austen Characters
#1. CAIARVN HLEAPTIL (2 words) - Captain Harville (Persuasion)
#2. CTEROEL FOSLON  (2 words) - Colonel Foster (Pride and Prejudice)
#3. AARTLOF CDMIR  (2 words) - Admiral Croft (Persuasion)
#4. GLNALER TEYIEN  (2 words) - General Tilney (Northanger Abbey)
#5. WLICERI PAMLI  (2 words) - William Price (Mansfield Park)
#6. CNEYAIN FTCREDAPK TILERI  (3 words) - Captain Frederick Tilney (Northanger Abbey)
#7. SDI JLOR MNETIDHON  (3 words) - Sir John Middleton (Sense and Sensibility)
#8. CRTEAIN CRAPTA  (2 words) - Captain Carter (Pride and Prejudice)

Charles Dickens Characters
#9. CAWPTDA JAINA HMESON  (3 words) - Captain James Hawdon (Bleak House)
#10. JADN BOHARS  (2 words) - John Barsad (A Tale of Two Cities)
#11. CAUTTIN CPTALE  (2 words) - Captain Cuttle (Dombey and Son)
#12. GGUNCE RELOEOREWL  (2 words) - George Rouncewell (Bleak House)
#13. DORRTO ALOCT WLANCOUOD  (3 words) - Doctor Allan Woodcourt (Bleak House)

Robert Louis Stevenson Characters
#14. IANLDE HSSRA  (2 words) - Israel Hands (Treasure Island)
#15. JKI HNSAWMI  (2 words) - Jim Hawkins (Treasure Island)
#16. CAMOLLN SPTTAIET  (2 words) - Captain Smollett (Treasure Island)
#17. BONIL BSLYE  (2 words) - Billy Bones (Treasure Island)

Elizabeth Gaskell Characters
#18. CROWAPT BAINN  (2 words) - Captain Brown (Cranford)
#19. CTAINON LXAPEN  (2 words) - Captain Lennox (North and South)
#20. MDOAR GONORJ  (2 words) - Major Gordon (Cranford)
#21. FERICALEK HRED  (2 words) - Frederick Hale (North and South)

Trivia Questions:
#22. Which character in Emma served in the army before settling down in Highbury?  - Mr. Weston 
#23. What war is the Horatio Hornblower series set during? - Napoleonic War
#24. Which two characters in Little Women serve in the Army during the American Civil War? - Mr. March and John Brooke
#25. What war do the gentlemen in the Downton Abbey TV series serve in? - World War I

Players Scores:
Livia Rachelle - 77 points
Melody - 69 points
Issy - 60 points
birdienl - 59 points
BatZion - 57 points
Kiri Liz - 55 points
Miss Elizabeth Bennet - 49 points
Hamlette - 25 points
Marissa Stangl - 15 points

Friday, January 18, 2013

Moonfleet (2013) Is In Production!

For you lovers of classic children's adventure tales and stories of pirates here's a bit of news!

The British satelite TV company Sky1 released news this summer that they will producing an adaptation of Moonfleet!

 "We are delighted to announce the commission of Moonfleet, a new family drama adapted in two parts from the classic John Meade Falkner story.

The programme was greenlit by Anne Mensah, Sky's Head of Drama, and will be produced by the award-winning Company Pictures. The scripts have been written by Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes).  

Filming will commence later this year on this much loved adventure set in the small Dorset village of Moonfleet. In the story young John Trenchard is haunted by dreams of the legendary Blackbeard and captivated by the whereabouts of his fabled diamond. Desperate to join the local band of smugglers, a turn of events unites him with Elzevir, the leader of the gang. Together they embark on a danger-filled adventure to locate Blackbeard's most treasured possession. 

Mensah commented: “Moonfleet is one of those unusual classic titles which people have heard of but that hasn’t been done to death. This allows us to make it feel unique to Sky, to please people who grew up with the story but also to bring in a new generation of viewers who might not be so familiar with the text. And of course it is going to be a Sky drama so expect big action as well as smugglers, fights, ghosts, diamond hunting and a father/son story which should totally and unashamedly capture your heart. Huge thanks to Company Pictures and Ashley Pharoah for bringing such a fantastic story to life for us”.

Charlie Pattinson, Executive Producer, Company Pictures, said:  “Moonfleet is a wonderful action adventure story – driven by smuggling raids, shipwrecks and a warm hearted love story.  We are delighted to be working with Sky again and share their ambition to produce this well loved story on an epic scale.”

Further production and casting details will be unveiled in due course.

Moonfleet will be shown exclusively on Sky 1 HD and Sky 1 in 2013"

In the vein of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Masterman Ready and Robinson Crusoe, Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner is an adventure book that my mom read aloud to me and my siblings when we were younger. There's some heart pounding moments - one in particular where young John Trenchard hides in the crypt below the church and gets locked in there! - and a fun heartwarming story. I've always thought it would make a great film and am so pleased that someone is bringing this lesser known work to life! And if the two part film turns out anything like Sky1's Treasure Island (2012) then I know it's going to be great! :-)

Have you heard of Moonfleet before?

Do you have any favorite classic adventure stories you think might make good movies?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Treasure Island (2012)

First, I have a confession to make: I love pirate stories! There's just something about stories of high seas adventures and swashbuckling pirates that ignites the imagination and quickens the pulse!
My mom read several classic adventure stories to me and my siblings as we were growing up and the memory of Treasure Island by Robert Louise Stevenson is one of my favorites.

The news that Sky1 (a UK satellite TV company) was producing a new adaptation of this classic Stevenson book was intriguing, especially after hearing of the projected cast. I was overjoyed when Netflix just recently made it available on their online streaming. I added it to my "to watch" list and waited a bit trying to convince my sister sister to watch it with me. Well, after a couple weeks I just couldn't wait any longer so I watched it by myself and raved about it so much my sister decided to watch it with me the next day! It's rather long so we watched a bit of the first part one night and then stayed up way too late the next night finishing part one and watching part two! Once you get into it you really want to find out what's going to happen next! After watching it twice I had lots of questions about how it matched up to the original story so I found a LibriVox recording of Treasure Island and enjoyed hearing it read to me again.

Story: Jim Hawkins and his mother continue running the Admiral Benbow Inn after his father dies. One day a swarthy gentleman, called "Captain" Billy Bones, with a huge sea chest comes to stay at the inn and although he pays handsomely at first stays quite a while drinking them into debt. When Billy's pirate friends close in and he suddenly dies Jim and his mother take their pay from Billy's sea chest, including a strange map, and hide for fear of their lives until the pirates leave. When Jim shows the map to his friend Dr. Livesey they discover that it details exactly where infamous pirate Captain Flint's treasure has been hid on a deserted island. Local nobleman Squire Trelawney finances the expedition to retrieve the treasure with Dr. Livesey and Jim joining the hastily formed crew. As cabin boy, Jim assists the one legged ship's cook Long John Silver and soon becomes wary of Silver's motives and the other crew members he has brought with him. As they near the island the threat of mutiny against honest Captain Smollett increases as the lust for treasure broods in each crew member's heart and Jim Hawkins will have to decide between friendship and untold wealth.

Accuracy To Book: When I watched it the first time I had some questions about if a few of the characters were represented accurately and that's why I listened to the audiobook. It turns out that there's a bit of back story added to characters like Dr. Livesey, Billy Bones, Long John Silver and the other pirates. The film starts out with a scene of Captain Flint and his gang, why the pirates disliked Billy Bones and had been cheated out of their share in the treasure. In the book Captain Flint is mentioned in name only as a cutthroat pirate. Dr. Livesey in the book is strong and brave but in this film he is a bit of a coward but with a kind heart. In the book Squire Trelawney is an older man who is cheery and blabbers on too much, here he is younger, reckless, religious and wealth hungry. Ben Gunn is portrayed as a younger man and a "Yankee" or American born which isn't mentioned in the book. Some of the jobs of the various ship crew members are changed a bit and the crew members come from various nationalities including Jamaican, Portuguese, Chinese, American and British. In the book the first mate Mr. Arrow drinks too much and one night he just disappears from the ship. In the film the second mate Mr. Dujon mysteriously falls from the rigging to the deck and is killed, Mr. Arrow is supplied with drink by Silver and becomes so unruly he tries to injure Squire Trelawney and is keel hauled as punishment (which is the reason Jim climbs in the apple barrel). The Treasure Map comes into play a bit more than in the book as Jim secretly has the map for most of their time on the island. The biggest character change is that of Long John Silver. In the book not much is known of him and although Jim likes him at first he distrusts him after discovering his mutiny plans and finds that he is really very evil. In the film Silver is softened somewhat as they show some of his back story and that the reason he wants the treasure is so that he and his wife can live in comfort and style. He doesn't use as many "Shiver Me Timbers" and other pirate phrases as in the book and becomes more of a friend to Jim. In the book Silver's wife is mentioned and said to be a "woman of colour" who he leaves in charge of The Spyglass Inn, but in this film they don't own The Spyglass and Mrs. Silver goes to live with Jim's mother at The Admiral Benbow Inn until the The Admiral Benbow is foreclosed on by Squire Trelawney's men.
*Spoilers* The ending of the film is most notably different. In the book Ben Gunn leaves Treasure Island with them but two pirates were left on the island, here Ben Gunn decided to stay on the island. After collecting the treasure on board the ship Jim Hawkins decides to throw it overboard and Captain Smollett and Dr. Livesey encourages him, in the book they keep the treasure but the wealth doesn't last very long for most of them. The Squire jumps into the water and drowns while trying to reach some treasure, in the book he lives on. When they near Bristol where they intend to deliver John Silver to the authorities, Silver tells Jim to not testify in his defense or he might be implicated in piracy by association. Before they reach port Jim helps Silver escape in a life boat and Silver promises to come back to claim the parrot Flint and maybe have another adventure with Jim one day, unlike in the book where Silver escapes without help long before reaching Bristol. *End of Spoilers* 

Scenes: A lot of the beginning scenes are dark and dreary and remind me of a Charles Dickens adaptation, especially of Oliver Twist (2007). But the sights and scenes of the sea voyage and the island are bright, rich and lovely! I really enjoyed the scenes on the island because you understand of how far they have to travel by foot and the desperate situation they would be faced with if they were to be left stranded without a boat. Some of the action is sped up slightly from time to time which gives the film a more modern feel. I've heard they had a low budget for this film but scenes were shot on location in Dublin, Ireland and Puerto Rico. The boat they used doubled as the Hispaniola and as Flint's pirate ship and was quite amazing!

Costumes: Squire Trelawney's costumes are extravagantly fine in tones of red, navy blue, gold and white. Sometimes it's like "what is he wearing?!?!" and it's funny when characters like Captain Smollett say something to him about his bold fashion statements such as: "You are not your father, however much you dress up!" The pirates and Jim Hawkins have only a few changes of clothes. Long John Silver wears plain clothes and then after they reach the island and he takes charge of his pirate men he dons a richly embroidered jacket and stands out as their leader. Jim Hawkins is usually neatly dressed but like the other characters on the island as their battles lengthen they become continually disheveled. Meg Hawkins and Mrs. Silver wear fairly homely dresses and have their hair down.

Music: While the sea shanty Dead Man's Chest is sun briefly by Billy Bones at the Admiral Benbow Inn is isn't used again which is a bit of a shame as it was Robert Louis Stevenson's creation. Two other longer sea shanties are used in stead: Lowlands Away is sung by Long John Silver and the crew as they leave Bristol and Go To Sea No More is sung by the pirates when they reach the island. All other music was composed by Antony Genn and Martin Slattery. The soundtrack contains the adventurous open melodies as well as darker scarier themes and with the addition of some electric instruments has a bit more modern feel.

Actors In Their Roles:
  • Toby Regbo as Jim Hawkins - An amazing newcomer! It's hard to believe that actor Toby playing the fifteen-year-old Jim was actually nineteen! He really throws himself into the role and becomes Jim Hawkins. You don't doubt Jim for a minute and it's great to see his journey from boy to young man and see the lessons he learns. Toby did well with the period drama manners and I'd love to see him in more period films.
  • Shirley Henderson as Meg Hawkins - As Jim's mother she was a bit weaker and dumber than the strong woman in the book. Her story was a bit bizarre and didn't come from the book. It was nice to see that Jim's mother was waiting for him back home but it was sad to see her lose The Admiral Benbow after she'd already lost so much. Actress Shirley Henderson is in The Way We Live Now and although she's a good actress her voice grates on the nerves after a while.
  • David Harewood as Billy Bones - It's a bit odd to have Billy Bones portrayed as a Jamaican but it works fairly well with this adaptation as there's several other African-British actors as part of the pirate crew. When watching for the first time I said to myself "this actor did a great job being all crazy and scared, I wonder who he is". Then all of a sudden I heard a cadence in the voice and a look in the eyes that was familiar so I just had to look up the actor and I was doubly in awe! I'm used to seeing David Harewood in a business suit as a politician or dressed as a friar in BBC Robin Hood using his deep voice calmly and rationally - Billy Bones is a totally different character and really shows David's versatility as an actor!
  • Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver - A British comedian taking on a classic literature villain role? Yes! It actually works so well! He creates a John Silver that is dangerous because he smooth talks everyone and speaks with such controlled calm. You like him and feel a bit sorry for him even though you know what he's doing is selfish and wrong. The tattoo on the side of his head is odd but strangely fits this Silver. Eddie Izzard's dedication to the role was commendable, he reportedly used the crutch and hopped on one leg for weeks beforehand in preparation and even off camera on the set he tried to only use the one leg.
  • Rupert Penry-Jones as Squire Trelawney - Younger and more greedy than in the book this Squire Trelawney boarders on evil with his mania for treasure! I always want to like actor Rupert Penry-Jones (he's quite good looking after all) but with the exception of Captain Wentworth in Persuasion 2007 he does seem to take on more gray roles where it's hard to know whether he's the heroic type or the villain, but it's always great seeing him in a period drama role! 
  • Philip Glenister as Captain Alexander Smollett - This film's Captain Smollett and Jim Hawkins are probably the closest to the characters in the book. Captain Smollett is given a ship of unruly sailors to direct and does so with great clearness. He becomes the moral compass of the book as he always acts justly. After his Horatio Hornblower days it was great to see actor Philip Glenister as a heroic sailor again and for those fans of Mr. Carter in Cranford here's another actor you will recognize. Mr. Glenister also joked in an interview that he based his portrayal of Captain Smollett off of Kermit the Frog in Muppet Treasure Island. :)
  • Daniel Mays as Dr. Livesey - Unlike the bold doctor of the book this Dr. Livesey is haunted by memories of his past - his cowardice as an Army doctor and failing to save his wife who died in childbirth. It seems he likes Jim's mother Meg as he visits their inn very often and looks at her a bit longingly. He is teased by Squire Trelawney who eventually decides that Livesey and Jim don't deserve a share of the treasure. Jim tries to reach out to him for help a few times but Livesey cowers away in fear but eventually does man up and shows himself to have the necessary bravery needed to survive. Actor Daniel Mays looked so familiar to me throughout the film but it turns out I've only seen him in Doctor Who and in Nanny McPhee Returns.
  • Elijah Wood as Ben Gunn - In the book Ben Gunn was an older man who talks of the Bible, goats and cheese. Although these same elements are used this Ben Gunn is much younger and a bit more odd and crazy if that's possible. Actor Elijah Wood's eyes are hauntingly blue, especially surrounded by the war paint he wears on his face and chest. I found it a bit of a contradiction that although he talks of being "Christian" he dresses and acts rather like a savage - but then I suppose strange things like that could happen if you've been on a deserted island for too long! 
  • Donald Sutherland as Captain Flint - In the book he's not shown but this film starts out with showing his part of the pirates back story, shows up in Billy Bones' memories and he appears as a ghost a few other times to taunt John Silver and the other men on the island. Period drama fans will recognize Donald Sutherland from Pride & Prejudice (2005) but this role seems much more suited to his skills than his role as Mr. Bennet.  
  • Nina Sosanya as Alibe Silver - Another character who is just hinted at in the book but is given more scenes in this film. She tell Meg that she's a former prostitute who John Silver rescues, marries and that they dream of living in style after they return with the treasure. She initially steals from Meg when she stays at the Admiral Benbow but eventually ends up helping her after the inn is foreclosed on. 
  • Geoff Bell as Israel Hands & Other Ship's Crew - In the book Israel Hands is the pirate Jim Hawkins meets up with when he tries to take over the ship while the other crew is on the island. In the film Israel is not a good sailor and he encourages the mutiny. He has a stunt fall that is wonderfully filmed, a great shot! The other sailors are slightly mixed up from their roles in the book but are each interesting and seem to make sense in the story.
  • Keith Allen as Pew - Appearing early and briefly in the story I didn't even recognize until later that blind pirate Pew was played by BBC Robin Hood's own hilarious Sheriff of Nottingham! I can't help wishing he had a bigger role as one of the sailors on the ship. 

My Thoughts: Although there were several changes made that differ from Robert Louis Stevenson's book I really didn't mind them too much. I frankly like this Long John Silver better than any I've seen before (well, unless you count Tim Curry in Muppet Treasure Island!). Overall the characters are quite well cast with few exceptions. I enjoyed most of the back stories they included except perhaps the bit about Mrs. Hawkins and Mrs. Silver. It was interesting that the film makers wanted to depict how hard life at sea could be but in a way that isn't too gruesome. The most important thing to me is that it captures the spirit of the book and when you watch you can just revel in the fun of a high seas adventure!

My Recommendations: Probably ages thirteen and up as there is some mild language, dry but slightly off color jokes, Mrs. Silver mentions having been a prostitute and not wanting to go back to that life, there's also some violence that you would expect with pirates: merciless shooting and sword fighting.
If you enjoy the book you may or may not enjoy some of the changes to the story but they are interesting twists that make it fresh. Treasure Island (2012) is not a gentle period drama it is a swashbuckling adventure story where salt water, sweat and dirt abound but it is such a fun film!

Watch trailers and cast interviews at the official Sky1 Treasure Island page!

Have you read Treasure Island?
Have you seen Treasure Island (2012)? What did you think of it?

P.S. This is my first film review for the Period Drama Challenge that I'm hosting. Don't forget to enter your review links! If you haven't heard about this event yet I encourage you to join in the fun by clicking on the button below!
Old-Fashioned Charm
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